This is the headquarters for Electionarium’s coverage of Alabama Senate Race 2017: the US Senate special election.
When Jeff Sessions resigned to become Donald Trump’s attorney general, the governor appointed Luther Strange, Alabama’s attorney general, to assume the seat. Strange has a fight on his hands for the Republican nomination. This, of course, in a state where the GOP primary is in essence the general election. The latter, by the way, takes place on December 12, 2017. As for the primary runoff, that takes place on September 26.
Over the course of the campaign, we will update our predictions on the election victor. Who will that be? Time will tell.
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Swing And A Miss — Doug Jones Wins
It was a close call, but Democrat Doug Jones is the new senator from Alabama. The margin of victory won’t be large, maybe a point or two, but Jones has pulled off a stunning upset.
Immediately, one would draw comparisons to Scott Brown’s victory in 2010 in Massachusetts. He was a Republican running in solid blue Massachusetts against a statewide-elected Democrat, Martha Coakley. The latter held large leads early in the campaign, but the combination of a terrible Coakley campaign, a rising Republican tide nationally, and a great retail campaign by Brown won it for him. He lost to Elizabeth Warren two years later as the state’s electoral balance recalibrated to normal.
No doubt, Jones is to the left of the state’s political center of gravity. Should the Republicans find a more acceptable candidate in 2020, there is a high likelihood that the seat will flip back. Nevertheless, that does not take away from Alabama’s political earthquake on December 12.
Roy Moore’s fortunes were wounded deeply by the sexual assault allegations that surrounded the campaign. It is still worth noting, however, that he was already shedding his big lead in the polls before the story broke. The Washington Post published the scoop on November 9; in October, two polls had him up 11 while another had it as a tie. Donald Trump carried Alabama by 28 percent, as did Senator Richard Shelby (R) running for re-election. Moore was almost always running behind other prominent recent Republicans in his general election campaign. It was never destined to be a blowout, even if there had been no Washington Post story, though the latter did him in.
Alabama politics saw its perfect storm on December 12, 2017.
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Final General Election Prediction, December 9
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Current General Election Prediction, December 9
This is our final prediction for Alabama’s Senate special election. What was expected to be a simple race in a safely red state turned into a national political circus. The end result, in our eyes, is that Roy Moore will be elected.
Those allegations made against Moore are strong and damaging. Were this a national election, it would be another story, but this is the choice of Alabama’s voters. Right now, it appears the choice they will make is Moore.
VICE and HBO got together with Republican focus group maven Frank Luntz and a group of Alabama Republican voters. If this cross-section is any indication, you’ll see two things: some people either don’t believe the accusations or don’t care. Al Franken of Minnesota won’t be one of Moore’s colleagues, as his own sexual misconduct allegations have pushed him out. A good old-fashioned sex scandal can run a politician out of office, but there is also precedent for those accused of sexual assault remaining in office. Bill Clinton was accused, and his approval rating soared after his impeachment. Gerry Studds was re-elected multiple times after the Congressional page sex scandal in 1983. Even the incumbent president was accused of assault at various times, but denied the allegations and was elected.
For the most part, allegations such as those leveled against Moore end careers. That is not always the case, however. This is a highly charged political environment, and the GOP has decided it wants to win this election. That’s all it takes in Alabama these days, which is one of the reddest states in the nation. Nobody is saying it won’t be close, or at least much closer than a Senate race in Alabama should be, but it’s more likely than not that Moore wins.
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Past General Election Analysis, November 26
We have watched the political situation in Alabama closely these last few weeks. It is our conclusion that Roy Moore, the Republican candidate, is still ahead. His lead is probably not great, but it’s there. It is hard to imagine a Democrat getting elected in Alabama, even if there are major goings-on with regard to the Republican contender.
The damage is done for Roy Moore and with several weeks of the reports about him, voters have the information they need. Moore is not leaving the race, and many state Republicans want him to stay. Should he lose, the GOP may regret standing behind him. Even though we still have him barely in the lead, we won’t rule out a Doug Jones victory.
Alabama Senate Race 2017: When Do The Polls Open? When Do The Polls Close?
Polls in Alabama open at 7:00am Central time on a typical election day. They close at 7:00pm Central.
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Past General Election Analysis, November 11
We are still not about to update our Alabama special election predictions. The situation is too fluid and honestly, we’re not sure who will and will not be a candidate a month from now. This is what we are willing to say at this time:
- Roy Moore is probably still ahead. It’s Alabama, and Moore is a Republican. Democrats struggle mightily to win elections in this state. One must operate from the assumption that he had enough of a cushion to sustain some losses to his support. This assumes there is any loss: enough will see this as a smear campaign.
- Roy Moore is unlikely to quit the race any time soon. The Republican candidate has given no indication at all that he is willing to step aside. Even if the fundraising from outside Alabama dries up, he will stick it out until the end. There is still a good chance he wins; why would he walk?
- Luther Strange may run as a write-in candidate, but it also may not matter. If GOP voters are unwavering in their support for Moore, then why would they bail for “Big Luther?”
- Any attempt to delay the election would be poorly received. There is no way Governor Kay Ivey could justify it other than out of political motivation.
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Past General Election Analysis, November 9
We have not updated the prediction — yet — but if the news of the day has an impact, our current thought on this race may take a massive turn. For those out in space, Republican candidate Roy Moore was accused of soliciting a sexual encounter with a 14-year old girl when he was 32. This came via an exclusive story by the Washington Post. This alleged incident occurred in 1979.
It is not our place to go in depth regarding the allegations; that’s been done in a thousand places by ten thousand pundits. Further, it’s not our job to litigate the matter. The court of public opinion will, and has, had its say already. What we want to know is how strongly this allegation will swing the Alabama US Senate race, if at all. We’ll be keeping an eye on it.
No doubt, the claims are severe. Such conduct is reprehensible, no matter who does it, and it’s a matter that transcends partisan politics. If there is any shade of truth, it’s very, very bad and decent people can, and should, speak out. Voters in Alabama will make their own decisions if Moore remains a candidate. As for pulling a Bob Torricelli and yanking him from the ballot, it’s not that easy. Moore cannot be extracted, even if he drops out, because the time has passed. However, this is a possibility:
Alabama elex spox John Bennett just told me that if the GOP withdraws their nomination of Moore, and notifies their office, he will remain on ballot but even if he gets most votes, won't be certified as winner b/c party has withdrawn nomination.
— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor) November 9, 2017
This could get wild. Moore could still win, Luther Strange might run a write-in campaign a la Lisa Murkowski, or Alabama could elect a Democrat for the first time in forever.
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Republican Primary Election Results
We only missed by 1.8 percent off of the final result, with Moore doing a bit better than expected. Perhaps the undecideds broke more towards Moore, but whatever the case, he is on to the general election.
Soon we will update our general election predictions.
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Current Republican Primary Election Prediction
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Past Analysis, October 24
This Senate race in Alabama presents Democrats with a rare possibility in a Deep South statewide election. How rare? Well, if you consider the “Deep South” the states in a line from Louisiana to South Carolina, Democrats hold precisely zero seats. This is not the Alabama of the old days, and Howell Heflin ain’t walking through that door. It’s increasingly more difficult for Democrats to win here.
Indeed, we do not project it at this time. However, a race in the single digits tells you one thing. It is that Republican nominee Roy Moore is not running away with this election. Whether one agrees with Moore on the issues or not, one must conclude he’s been a political lightning rod for a long time. Moore is outspoken and an unashamed Christian and social conservative. That seems like a good fit for Alabama, though the polls show this race is no slam dunk for the Republicans.
Democratic opponent Doug Jones is running on a liberal platform, which conversely does not appear to be a good ideological fit for Alabama. He’s not out of the race, but Democrats thinking they will win this race are going to need a lot to go their way. This is not like the reverse of Martha Coakley vs. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, one of America’s bluest states. Coakley ran a horrible campaign, Brown positioned himself as a moderate, and he rode a growing national Republican tide to victory. Jones is not particularly moderating his stances, and though Democrats are feeling better nationally overall, that wave hasn’t hit Alabama yet. It may not at all, and that would be no surprise.
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Past Analysis, September 23
Luther Strange is locked in a tough battle with Roy Moore for the Republican nomination. Roy Moore, some may recall, was the “Ten Commandments” state Supreme Court justice. Now, his sights are set on the United States Senate. If the opinion polls are correct, the socially conservative Moore will get there.
This election looks like the conservative punditry against the party establishment. Moore’s list of endorsements includes Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Steve Bannon. Luther Strange, on the other hand, has Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Mitch McConnell. However, Strange also has the NRA and National Right to Life, two coveted nods for conservatives.
Moore leads in most surveys issued in the month of September. Many aren’t close, but high undecideds make this interesting.
Alabama Senate Race 2017: Supporting Links
Find more information on the Alabama US Senate special election, including provisional and absentee ballots, on the Alabama Secretary of State website.
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