Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce members got an inside look at the upcoming general election and the happenings in Washington from Rep. Robert Aderholt Friday afternoon.
Aderholt spoke during the chamber’s monthly Community Luncheon which returned Friday after several months off due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 was also a topic of discussion for Aderholt, specifically the likelihood of another relief bill being passed by the national legislature before November’s general election.
He said he personally doesn’t believe any new stimulus package will be passed before the election because Republicans and Democrats are too far apart on what they want in the bill.
“I think political people are posturing too much right now and they’re not going to get anything,” he said.
Aderholt, a Republican, said his party wants a skinnier bill that prevents the economy from tanking while limiting the impact on the national debt, while Democrats are looking to add money for every possible contingency that could arise from the pandemic.
Once the election is over and things cool down a bit, there should be another stimulus package up for consideration by the legislature, he said.
“Politics will be behind us, the election will be behind us, and we can really try to work to move forward on that,” he said.
Aderholt also gave his views on some of the upcoming elections that are set for Nov. 3, including the race between President Donald Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden.
He said current polls are showing that Trump is trailing Joe Biden going into the election, but Trump has has tended to underperform in polls in the past.
“I will tell you that that was the same thing we heard four years ago when Hilary Clinton went against Donald Trump,” he said.
The presidential election will mainly be decided in a handful of battleground states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan or Ohio, but Trump should not have much to worry about in Alabama or Cullman County, Aderholt said.
Out of the 437 congressional districts in the U.S., Cullman County’s district was the one in which Trump won by the highest margin, and it was the only county that voted more than 80 percent for Trump, he said.
“Believe you me, every time I’m around him I remind him of that,” he said. “That I represent the district that supported him the most.”
Aderholt said he was able to attend last year’s Alabama-LSU game with the president, and seeing the lines of supporters outside the limo on the way to the game made Trump very happy.
“As you know Donald Trump, he likes to have a lot of support,” he said. “And Alabama gives that to him, so like I said, he loves Alabama.”
While the presidential race is at the top of the ballot, there is around one-third of the U.S. Senate’s seats up for election and all 435 of the U.S. House of Representative’s seats, Aderholt said.
Republicans currently have a 53-47 majority in the Senate, but there are a lot of seats that are currently held by Republicans that are up for re-election, he said.
Aderholt said the presidential race on the ballot and having such a large number of Trump supporters in the state should help Republican Tommy Tuberville win the Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones, but Republicans around the country may be facing a stiffer fight to maintain their majority.
“That is going to be a challenge for Republicans,” he said.
The House of Representatives currently has a Democratic majority, and Republicans would need to pick up around 17 or 18 seats around the country to gain the majority, Aderholt said.
That may not seem like many seats out of the 435 up for grabs, but it will still be a challenge for Republicans to do so, he said.
Aderholt said Republicans’ success in taking the House may also rely on the presidential race, as there are 30 Democratic representatives who represent districts that voted for Trump in 2016, so a good turnout for the president could mean good things for Republicans down the ballot.
“If Donald Trump has a good election night, then I think it’s very possible,” he said.