Democrats recovering from defeats - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Democrats recovering from defeats

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

By Jonathan Hardison

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Results look bleak for the Alabama Democratic Party after Tuesday's statewide election.

Republicans took control of the State House and Legislature for the first time in 136 years and made a clean sweep of the constitutional officers.

So is the Alabama Democratic Party dead? You might think asking if Democrats in Alabama is a knee-jerk reaction, but there are experienced experts in state politics who wonder where the party goes from here, including FOX6 political analyst, Natalie Davis.

"It's got tired leadership, the same people are running the Democratic Party now that have been running it for 20 years or more, and in that sense it needs some new blood and new energy," Davis said. "The Democratic Party has been living on life support since 1986, and the Republicans pulled the plug last night."

Davis isn't the only political expert who wonders how Alabama Democrats can try to claw their way back into power after losing their grip on the State House, Democrats themselves are asking the same hard questions.

"There are things this party has to navigate, this party has to take a long look at its past practices and where it's going from here and they'll have to adapt and make changes," said Robbie Yarborough, former chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party.

Yarborough says stalling on ethics reform gave Republicans a chance to claim the moral high ground and pick up house and senate seats along the way.

"In my opinion, if the Democrats in the Alabama Legislature had gotten on board with this a year ago or in the last session, we might be having a different conversation right now," Yarborough said.

"I think it's just a blip, it'll even itself out," said Democratic voter Constance Seay. "I think they're thinking I'm going to get rid of Obama here, I'm going to make things harder for him, so I'm going to vote Republican and make this as hard for him as I possibly can."

So what would resonate with voters?

"Some improvement towards the education, that's the most important thing," said independent voter Lavoy Brown. "Because we old people, we're pretty much set in our ways, our roots are set. But the young people out here are looking toward the future and we need to make sure they get the best they can possibly get."

"I think they need to listen to the people," said Republican voter Barbara Thrasher. "I think it was spending. Well, I don't know, it was ethics, too."

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