Skip to comments.Roll Tide: All That Roy Moore And Doug Jones Can Do Now In Alabama's Senate Race Is Wait
Posted on 12/12/2017 6:07:37 PM PST by Kaslin
It’s over. The Alabama special election is over. The polls have closed. The only thing that Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones can do now is wait. Moore has been dealing with multiple accusations of sexual molestation and assault from multiple women. These events occurred when Moore’s accusers were teenagers. It’s been an issue that has plagued the Moore campaign. As the ballots are being counted, turnout in some areas of the state is higher than usual. Yet, CNN’s panel of pundits noted that high black turnout, which is what Democrats are hoping for, might not be enough to win. When Obama ran, black voter turnout reached 28 percent; he still lost the state by over ten points. Former Democratic Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu had a similar fate. Had a strong showing with black voters in 2014, but got wiped out by the white electorate. David Wasserman had a lengthy post on FiveThirtyEight’s live blog of this election listing what Jones needs to do to win.
It’s easy to get lost in the surreal stories of Alabama’s Senate race. But at the end of the day, simple math will dictate whether Jones can become the first Democrat to win statewide office since 2008 (when Lucy Baxley was elected president of the state’s public service commission).
I’ve created a follow-at-home model estimating the vote shares Jones and Moore need to exceed in each of Alabama’s 67 counties to win tonight. To break it down, here are the four stars that need to align for Jones to prevail:
Jones needs ridiculous margins in Jefferson and Montgomery counties, home to Birmingham and Montgomery. They were the two largest Alabama counties carried by Hillary Clinton, and I estimate that Jones needs to beat Moore there by 29 points and 47 points respectively.
Jones needs a robust GOP crossover vote (and a substantial write-in vote) from whites with a college degree, who make up roughly a quarter of the state’s electorate. Huntsville (Madison County) and the Birmingham suburbs (Shelby County) are the main places to look, as well as Tuscaloosa County (University of Alabama) and Lee County (Auburn).
Jones can’t afford turnout in the “Black Belt” to drop off much from the 2016 presidential election. At first, for an off-year special election, that would sound next to impossible. But keep in mind that 2016 turnout in places like Tuskegee (Macon County) and Selma (Dallas County) was considerably down from when Obama was on the ballot. So, with Democrats engaged in a black get-out-the-vote operation like never before, it’s not such a far-fetched scenario.
Jones needs a comparatively lower, more typical midterm turnout from whites without a college degree, who make up Moore’s and Trump’s bases. If Moore is failing to hit his target numbers in places where these voters are numerous, such as Cullman, DeKalb and Houston counties, he may be in trouble.
Currently on track for 25% turnout in some areas higher. Madison and Baldwin County reporting closer to 35%. Baldwin cites record number of Dems for special election. #alpolitics— Alabama Reporter (@ALReporter) December 12, 2017
Turnout continues to surpass expectations around the state, SOS John Merrill says. He originally predicted a high of 25%. Could go higher if turnout trend holds. #alpolitics #ALSEN— Alabama Reporter (@ALReporter) December 12, 2017
To win #ALSEN (@CookPolitical PVI R+14), Jones needs:
1) Ridiculous Dem margins in Birmingham/Montgomery
2) Strong crossover from college whites in Huntsville/Shelby
3) Not much drop-off from '16 turnout in Black Belt
4) Weak/typical off year turnout among non-college whites— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 12, 2017
Hillary Clinton got 729,547 votes in Alabama. Doug Jones may actually need more votes to win tonight.— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) December 12, 2017
For Moore, it’s having a strong showing in rural Alabama, while making sure not too many moderate GOP voters in the suburbs flip for Jones (via NBC News):
More broadly, Moore's best counties are often in the state's most rural, white and least populous areas. In Blount and Cullman counties, which lie between Birmingham and Huntsville, Moore won more than three-quarters of the vote in 2012.
Moore probably won't win as many counties as Trump did — 54 — but most of the state map should be Republican red by the end of the night. The question is whether Moore can turn out his rural supporters and hold onto enough suburban moderates to take full advantage of the state's heavy GOP tilt.
We’ll update you more as the race becomes clearer.
Baldwin just had a big batch reporting, now the county is 77% in. That didn’t swing things like I was hoping.
What do we have left, really?.... The last 23% of Baldwin, then just random scattered bits... Hmm...
This is not the evening I was hoping for.
Yep. I think Jones has it unless it’s the more conservative precincts that haven’t reported in. Birmingham and Mobile lean democratic.
If the GOP would have supported Moore, he would have won.
What’s left for us? 3% of Marshall, 3% of St. Clair, 37% of Shelby (but Shelby isn’t very big), 6% of Baldwin... and that’s it. All of the rest is 100%. But there’s tons of blue left.
And 17K write in votes?
The blame lies solely at their feet for abandoning a solid conservative in the middle of an election.
But don’t worry, they’ll still come begging for donations when they need them.
I think I need a drink...
Just flipped to Jones. Oh well.
Oh well, so long Franken.
The Dims are going to be more insufferable than usual now.
How about losing now? Sh*t!
LOL, good one. Sadly it’s looking like Moore lost right now.
Yeah, but Franken is being replaced with another Rat...
How about lost.
Now that there won't be any ethics investigations taking place, when does Al Franken un-resign?
Yes, and I had hoped it would hold up, but alas gravity has it’s way.
Mitch McConnell’s legacy will be turning the senate back over to the democrats
The results suck and Im so disappointed in voters for falling for four decade old lies, and for Republicans being so treacherous to their own, but lets also remember that the sky hasnt fallen. We still have control of Congress and we have President Trump. Lets focus on 2018 and that especially includes the primaries leading into them.
Well, Ditch and the rest of the Establishment RINOs seem to have gotten what they wanted tonight. They’re one seat closer to giving away the Senate so they can have an excuse for not doing diddly.
I’m hearing the acceptance speech from Jones, now.
Enter McCain and Collins as the political power brokers now.
Alabama, you failed your countrymen, (and women). Jones will only be a one term senator, but that one term will be exceedingly problematic.
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