Election delay hurts congressional front runners, political analyst says

Alabama News

Candidates have spent money and revealed strategy. Delay stops momentum.

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Alabama’s Run Off Election has been postponed and WKRG’s political analyst thinks the delay is an advantage for  Bill Hightower in the Republican race for Congress, and Jeff Sessions in the Republican race for Senate.

“The people who were front-runners just got a surprise,” said Jon Gray of Mobile-based Strategy Research. “The guys lagging behind just got new opportunity.”

Gov. Kay Ivey this week postponed the election from March 31 to July 14. The four week run off became a four month run off.

Before the COVID-10 crisis dominated life, and the headlines, Tommy Tuberville got a huge boost in his Senate race against Jeff Sessions when he picked up the endorsement of President Trump.

“The President is busy right now,” Gray joked. “He’s probably not going to be tweeting about Tommy Tuberville.”

Tuberville had refused to debate Sessions, something that now might be harder to do, Gray says.

“Can Jeff flip the table by Trump being distracted and forcing Tuberville to do something he didn’t want to do? Absolutely.”

Gray says the President’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and the federal bailout package could be fodder for Sessions campaign come this summer.

In the District 1 Congressional race, Gray says the election delay favors Bill Hightower. Prior to the election postponement, Hightower’s opponent Jerry Carl was running a barrage of negative television ads. Carl had a significant lead in fundraising.    

“Jerry Carl had to spend a lot of money for those attack ads,” Gray said. “It could really change things. In four months are people going to remember what Jerry Carl said about Bill Hightower, or does he have to spend all that money again?”

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