Newly released poll results and political analysis by the New York Times indicate that Republican Martha Roby is gaining momentum and may be pulling ahead of incumbent Bobby Bright in the Alabama 2nd Congressional District race.
Throughout the summer, Bright has maintained a lead in the polls. In August and September, polling data showed Bright in the lead by a 52% - 43% margin. But a new poll shows Roby with a 45% - 43% lead. While this is within the margin of error for the poll, it seems to indicate that the momentum is with Roby as she gains ground on Bright.
A recent analysis by 538 predicts Roby has a 76.5% chance of winning the seat.
Despite the lead Bright has held until now, his support is under the 50% mark, and the history of the district favors Roby. In 2008, Bobby Bright barely won his race, squeezing out Republican Jay Love by less than two thousand votes.
Both campaigns have spent a fairly equal amount of money so far, though the Bright campaign has almost twice as much cash left to spend as does Roby. However, Roby seems far more active on the campaign trail than is Bright.
Roby utilizes Twitter and Facebook to inform supporters of her many activities across the District, and she holds regular "Phone Bank" nights to drum up support. She has future events scheduled in Montgomery, Headland, Eclectic, Eufaula, and Evergreen, and she issues press releases at least every other day on one issue or another. Bobby Bright does not appear have a Twitter account. His "Upcoming Events" page is empty, and we are hearing very little from him. I attempted to contact the Bright campaign, but was unable to obtain schedule information for upcoming events or a list of campaign events held in the recent past.
There are other signals that may indicate Bright is aware he is losing ground. A month or so ago, Bright made national news when he sidestepped a question asking if he would again vote for Speaker of the House Pelosi. Instead of replying, he made a joke that Pelosi could fall sick and die in coming months. He said recently he will not support Pelosi for Speaker in January.
I contacted the Roby campaign and spoke with campaign manager Mike Hamilton.
"Frankly, I think this is a sign of desperation. He (Bright) sees his numbers sliding and is trying to do something to save his political career.
Calls to the Bright campaign for comment were not returned.