MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Republican Party had a big night in Alabama, with Mitt Romney carrying the state in the presidential race, Roy Moore getting his old job back as chief justice, and Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh knocking out the last Democrat holding statewide race.
State Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead called it "a tremendous night" for the GOP and huge blow for Democrats. "Barack Obama has been their worst enemy. He's moved the Democratic Party so far to the left that Alabamians can't identify with the party," he said.
State Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy said the GOP demonized Obama and that impacted Democrats running for statewide office.
Romney was polling 61 percent of the vote late Tuesday night, which was slightly better than John McCain's total in Alabama four years earlier.
Cavanaugh posted 55 percent of the vote in the race for president of the Public Service Commission to oust Democratic incumbent Lucy Baxley and likely end the political career of the Democratic Party war horse.
In the race for chief, Moore tallied 52 percent of the vote against Democrat Bob Vance with 96 percent of the precincts reporting.
Moore said he won with less than half of what Vance spent and without taking money from special interest groups or political action committees.
"Everybody in this state knows what I stand for and they approved it by a margin of more than 75,000 votes," he said.
In the only contested race for the State Board of Education, Republican Tracy Roberts of Spanish Fort tallied 71 percent of the vote with three-fourths of the precincts reporting to defeat Democrat Herndon Inge of Mobile in District 1, which stretches from Mobile County to Covington County in south Alabama.
Election officials said voters bombarded the polls Tuesday, resulting in full parking lots and long lines. Voters at the Irondale Senior Citizen Center in Jefferson County reported standing in line three hours. Voters in many place reported 90-minute waits.
In the presidential race, exit polling showed Romney was the choice of eight out of 10 white voters, seven out of 10 voters of retirement age, and seven out of 10 voters with household incomes topping $50,000 annually. The big break for him was carrying nearly eight out of 10 independent voters.
"There was never any question in my mind," state Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said from the party's victory celebration at a Hoover gun shop.
No Democratic presidential candidate has carried Alabama since Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Exit polling showed Democratic incumbent Barack Obama was the favorite with African-American voters and those who feel government should do more to solve problems.