|Poll||Date||Sample||Barnes (D)||Shelby (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||34.7||65.3||Shelby +30.6|
|Rasmussen Reports||9/21 - 9/21||500 LV||30||58||Shelby +28|
|Rasmussen Reports||8/19 - 8/19||500 LV||28||60||Shelby +32|
|Rasmussen Reports||7/22 - 7/22||500 LV||29||59||Shelby +30|
|Rasmussen Reports||6/3 - 6/3||500 LV||31||58||Shelby +27|
|Rasmussen Reports||5/25 - 5/25||500 LV||31||58||Shelby +27|
|R2000/Daily Kos (D)**||5/17 - 5/19||600 LV||33||57||Shelby +24|
|Rasmussen Reports||3/29 - 3/29||500 LV||32||59||Shelby +27|
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.