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Analysis: Riley increases black vote

An analysis from predominantly black voting precincts in from Black Belt counties and Birmingham shows Republican Gov. Bob Riley got more support than he did in 2002.

The analysis by The Birmingham News also revealed that the Democratic nominee, Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, got less support in these areas than Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman did four years ago.

Riley&8217;s improved performance could be a result of his campaign visits to the Demopolis area, said Demopolis Mayor-Protem Thomas Moore.

Thomas said that because Riley did not visit the area in the last election, he feels the visit showed the governor&8217;s interest in the area.

Moore also said much help is needed in the county with healthcare programs and education.

Moore also said he feels some of Riley&8217;s improvement can be credited to the power of the incumbency.

The total number of votes cast in predominantly black counties of the Black Belt was down from 2002. In 2002, Siegelman pulled in more than 69 percent of the votes cast in the Black Belt, while Riley got just over 30 percent. This time, Baxley got 65 percent to Riley&8217;s 35 percent.

In Macon County, Siegelman claimed 86.6 percent of the vote four years ago to Baxley&8217;s 78 percent this time.

In Hale, Marengo and Pickens counties, Baxley came up 6 percentage points short of Siegelman&8217;s 2002 totals. She got 63 percent in Hale, 56 percent in Marengo and 53 percent in Pickens.

In Greene County, Siegelman got 84.2 percent of the votes in 2002, and Baxley got 79 percent in 2006.

In Lowndes County, Siegelman received 75 percent of the vote in 2002, compared with 71 percent this year for Baxley.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.