Tags: Roy Moore | roy moore | doug jones | alabama | senate

All Eyes on Alabama Senate Race

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017 12:05 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Alabama's senator race today will be one of the most closely watched races of the year.  Whether the winner is Republican Roy Moore or Democrat Doug Jones, the outcome will almost certainly be superclose — down to which candidate can rally more supporters.

"A Democrat cannot win — cannot — win statewide in Alabama," said former State Republican Chairman Marty Connors, who pointed out that Democrats last won a Senate seat in the Yellowhammer State in 1992. Democrats hold no statewide offices.

But, he quickly added, "Republicans here can find a way to lose if they fail to turn out reliable voters."

Discouraging Republican voters from turning out appears to be a late pattern of national political figures who loathe Moore. Three days ago, the state's senior Sen. Richard Shelby, a Republican, recalled his disgust with the charges of eight woman who claimed the former chief justice had behaved inappropriately toward them when they were teenagers 40 years ago. Shelby announced plans to write in the name of an unnamed "other Republican" on the ballot.

Other Republicans weighed in on the theme that a Democrat would be preferable to the controversial Moore representing Alabama in national office. Among them were former Republican National Chairman Ed Gillespie and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, herself a native Alabamian.

Connors (who supports Moore) and other Republican activists in the state agree that the recent Fox News poll showing Jones leading Moore by a margin of 50-to-40 percent among likely voters statewide is based on a lower-than-usual turnout among traditional Republican voters.

"That has to be based on Republicans voting in smaller numbers than usual," Connors told me. "Aside from the fact that Trump carried our state by 27 percentage points statewide, the [Fox] numbers contradict just about every other final survey." He cited the just-completed Emerson Poll showing Moore up 53-to-44 percent and the average of all polls compiled by RealClear politics gives Moore a roughly 3-to-4 percentage point edge over Jones.

Democrats are also making a spirited effort to turn out black voters. Such prominent black Democrats as Sen. Cory Booker (New Jersey) and Rep. John Lewis (Georgia), a civil rights legend, have stumped with former U.S. Attorney Jones, who has a record of prosecuting civil rights cases. Black voters comprise about 27 percent of the state electorate, but their turnout total dropped dramatically in 2016 (for Hillary Clinton) from what it was in 2012 (for Barack Obama). Obama will be featured in robocalls to voters on Tuesday.

The Moore campaign will deploy robocalls of its own with President Trump imploring voters to support the GOP nominee. Although many national Republican figures have denounced Moore, this is not the case among Alabama Republicans. Gov. Kay Ivey and State Chairman Terry Lathan have stayed firmly loyal to their Senate candidate.

"And Republicans here have a detailed plan for identifying voters and turning them out," former State Rep. Perry Hooper Jr. and a Moore supporter told Newsmax. "There will be a lot of people manning phones and knocking on doors for Roy on Tuesday."

The last time Alabamians had a special election for the Senate was in 1978, following the death of Democratic Sen. James B. Allen. But the special election was on the same ballot as the race for the state's other Senate seat and the election for governor. The race to succeed Attorney General Jeff Session in the Senate is, "the only game in town."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Whether the winner is Republican Roy Moore or Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama, the outcome will almost certainly be superclose — down to which candidate can rally more supporters.
roy moore, doug jones, alabama, senate
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2017-05-12
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 12:05 PM
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