Grim numbers for Roy Moore

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 28, 2006

MONTGOMERY &8212;- A week ago a survey authorized by the Mobile Register and conducted by University of South Alabama Polling Group produced some

very grim numbers for former Chief Justice Roy Moore in his race with Gov. Bob Riley for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.

It showed Riley leading by a two-to-one margin.

Now comes another poll by the Register-USA which certainly had to jolt Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley in her contest with former Gov. Don Siegelman for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

These latest numbers showed Baxley leading Siegelman, but by the narrowest of margins:

37% to 34%.

A year ago in a similar poll Baxley had led by a commanding 17 percentage points.

Even the chief pollster, Keith Nicholls, head of the USA Polling Group, expressed surprise at the numbers.

&8220;I think the race is a lot tighter than a lot of people, including myself, would have expected,&8221; Nicholls said.

Despite her apparent drop in strength, Baxley said she was pleased by the results of the poll. She said she is confident her numbers will go up when she launches her media campaign in the weeks ahead.

Surprisingly, despite his much better showing than a year ago, the ever-confident Siegelman scoffed at this latest poll.

A spokesman for Siegelman said their polling showed he was winning the primary by a large margin.

One telling sidebar to this latest poll…Siegelman led Baxley by a whopping 48-22 per cent margin among black voters.

A massive turnout of black voters in the primary could make a huge difference in the outcome of this race.

After taking an editorial beating in several state newspapers, Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, the chairperson of the Alabama Republican Party, has resigned from her position with a Mississippi lobbying firm.

Most of the criticism was due to the fact that the firm she worked for…Capitol Resources of Jackson, Miss….numbered among its clients several casino operators.

Cavanaugh said her work with the firm did not involve

any gambling issues but she quit &8220;to ensure there is no appearance of any conflict of interest.&8221;

Back in the decade of the &8216;80s one of the most controversial and high profile members of the State Senate was Charles Bishop of Jasper, perhaps remembered by some as the wearer of a ring which sported one of the biggest diamond you ever saw.

(He made a ton in the surface mining business.)

Now comes word that Bishop would like to return to his old political haunts. He has announced his intentions to run for his old seat in the Senate, this time as a Republican.

Bishop served two terms in the State Senate, and then was elected Commissioner of Agriculture as a Democrat.

He made a splash in the 2002 gubernatorial campaign when he ran for governor in the Democractic Primary General Election.

Bob Ingram has covered Alabama politics for 50 years.