2010 Senate Races

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Alabama Senate - Shelby vs. Barnes


William Barnes

William Barnes (D)

Bio | Campaign Site

Richard Shelby

Richard Shelby (R)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Alabama Snapshot

RCP Ranking:
2010 State Races:
Governor | AL-2 | AL-5

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2006: Governor
2004: President

Polling Data

PollDateSampleBarnes (D)Shelby (R)Spread
Final Results----34.765.3Shelby +30.6
Rasmussen Reports9/21 - 9/21500 LV3058Shelby +28
Rasmussen Reports8/19 - 8/19500 LV2860Shelby +32
Rasmussen Reports7/22 - 7/22500 LV2959Shelby +30
Rasmussen Reports6/3 - 6/3500 LV3158Shelby +27
Rasmussen Reports5/25 - 5/25500 LV3158Shelby +27
R2000/Daily Kos (D)**5/17 - 5/19600 LV3357Shelby +24
Rasmussen Reports3/29 - 3/29500 LV3259Shelby +27

Race Analysis

In 1980, Alabama did something unthinkable: It elected a Republican senator. Admiral Jeremiah Denton wasn’t expected to defeat Jim Folsom, Jr. (the son of legendary Governor “Big Jim” Folsom) that year. But Folsom was fairly liberal and found himself unable to withstand the Reagan landslide. In 1986, Congressman Richard Shelby of the 7th District used a much more conservative voting record to return the seat to Democratic hands.

Shelby compiled one of the most conservative voting records among Senate Democrats, so it was no great surprise when he switched parties in 1994, joining the incoming Republican majority. The Alabama GOP quickly accepted him into the fold, and he has routinely won re-election as a Republican with about two-thirds of the vote.

This year shouldn’t be an exception. Shelby will face off against attorney and Vietnam War veteran William Barnes. Barnes didn't report any FEC activity by the end of the second quarter, so there’s really no reason to expect that he’ll give Shelby a race in this environment.