I do not think I will ever trust polls again. Defying almost all the polls, Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore yesterday to win the special election to fill the Alabama Senate seat. Jones, a liberal pro-abort, will hold the seat until 2020 when he will be up for re-election. Jones won by a 14,000 vote margin, far too large I think to be overturned in a recount, unless fraud on a massive scale occurred. I did find it very interesting, and suspicious, last night that the votes from the two Democrat strongholds of Montgomery and Birmingham were quite late in being reported. It reminded me of many an election night in Illinois in close state wide races, when, for some mysterious reason, the Chicago vote was very slow being reported. Having said that, I do not expect that the election results will change.
The much ballyhooed write in effort yielded slightly over one percent of the vote total and was not a significant factor, unless one assumes that these voters would have voted for Moore, rather than stayed home or voted for Jones, which I do not. The outcome hinged on the simple fact that a lot of Republicans stayed home and a few voted for Jones. To add perspective to this, in November 2016 Trump clobbered Clinton with a 28 point margin and a total vote margin of 1.3 million to around 729k for Clinton. Jones got fewer votes than Clinton did and Moore got about half of the votes that Trump did. A huge number of Republicans were MIA.
Doubtless there will be attempts to hang this defeat around the neck of Trump, which is absurd. This was all about Moore. Absent the scandals he would have prevailed, probably with about the same 4 point margin of victory that he enjoyed in his last state wide race in 2012.
Almost all of the polls completely missed what was coming, and in close races the polls seem to be currently about as predictive as tossing a coin, or looking at chicken entrails.
Well, the Roy Moore v. Doug Jones race will be mercifully over tomorrow, and all current polls show Moore ahead. Nothing is ever certain in politics, but it looks like Moore is headed to victory. A few observations:
- Alabama is a very red state. In the divided state of our politics today, it is almost as hard for a Democrat to win a state-wide race in Alabama as it is for a Republican to win a state-wide race in California.
- If the scandal card is played, do it close to the election. Moore had enough time to recover from the scandal allegations, and he did.
- The national news media is really, really hated by conservatives. Moore has received somewhat worse coverage from the media than a reincarnated Hitler would, and that fact probably redounds to his advantage in Alabama.
- Gloria Allred. If you are trying to win an election in a red state, having Gloria Allred do one of her dog and pony press conferences is death on ice for the candidate she supports.
- Beware of evidence too good to be true. The whole scandal began to unravel with the yearbook. Evidence too good to be true, is usually too good to be true.
- The impotence of the Never Trumpers. Organized Never Trumpers have waged a proxy fight against Roy Moore as part of their ongoing war against Trump, which is beyond peculiar since Moore was not Trump’s first pick. At any rate it demonstrates that the Never Trumpers are a group of chiefs without Indians.
- God bless Al Franken and John Conyers. The antics of Democrats in Congress took the heat, and some of the media, off Roy Moore. The Democrats think they have turned the corner on this. I wouldn’t bet on it. Republicans when they behave like pigs around women are hypocrites. Democrats when they do so could fairly state, if they were honest, that they were merely emulating some of the most respected members of their party, including Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy andTed Kennedy. More to come on both sides of the aisle, but I bet much more to come from the Democrats, who haven’t held up fidelity in marriage as an ideal since Truman.
- The Republican establishment is really, really hated by the base of the party. Roy Moore has been a huge kidney stone for decades for the Alabama GOP and this fact has greatly aided his political career.
- Your money is no good here. Since the scandal card was played against Roy Moore, Doug Jones has been awash in cash. He is outspending Moore seven to one and he completely dominates the airwaves, The primary effect of all this spending seems only to have served to make Roy Moore’s voters more eager to vote.
- Abortion. Alabama is a very pro-life state and Jones is in favor of abortion until the umbilical cord is cut. The abortion issue is the prime reason why Moore’s voters stayed with him immediately after the scandal broke.
- Where dah white women? Note to Democrats. When you are attempting to play the race card to drive up the black vote, many blacks find it highly offensive when you produce a brain dead flyer that paints a black man eager to be a sexual predator.
Update: Two final polls out today. The Emerson College poll shows Moore with a nine point lead and a Fox News poll which shows Jones with a 10 point lead. Some pollster is going to be wiping egg off their faces after tomorrow.