How Yard Signs Helped Defeat Roy Moore

Wade Perry, the manager of Doug Jones’ (D) longshot U.S. Senate campaign in Alabama, told McClatchy that “before Jones even won his own primary, and hatched a plan with campaign chairman Giles Perkins. Their realization: the campaign needed to show Republican voters — some of whom hadn’t voted for a Democrat in decades — that it would be OK to support one this time around.”

“And what better way, they thought, than letting the average Alabamian see rows of Jones signs in their neighbors’ yards?”

“Perry himself can scarcely believe he’s talking about them seriously… But the man who managed the most stunning upset in recent Democratic political history has a larger — and much more important — point he wants to make; his party must be willing to try something different with their politics and campaigns, especially as it prepares to compete this November in a litany of Republican-rich areas.”

Roy Moore Accuser’s Home Burns Down

Roy Moore accuser Tina Johnson lost her home in a fire that is now under investigation by an arson task force, the Birmingham News reports.

“Tina Johnson, who first came to public notice for accusing Senate candidate Roy Moore of grabbing her in his office in the early 1990s, said her home… caught fire Tuesday morning… By the time the flames were extinguished, Johnson and her family had lost everything they owned.”

Roy Moore Sues to Block Election Result

Roy Moore, the first Republican to lose a U.S. Senate race in Alabama in 25 years, moved to block state officials from certifying the victory of his Democratic rival on Thursday afternoon because of “systematic voter fraud,” the New York Times reports.

Politico notes that Moore has continued to fundraise by asking donors to contribute to his “election integrity fund,” pledging to pursue “voter fraud and other irregularities at polling locations throughout the state.”

Meanwhile, The Hill reports Moore “says he completed a lie detector test after the Alabama Senate election concluded to prove the allegations of sexual misconduct are untrue.”

Turnout in Alabama Complicates Debate on Voting Laws

“Even before a defiant Roy Moore stood at a lectern this month and refused to concede the Alabama Senate race, one political reality was clear: An extraordinary turnout among black voters had helped push Doug Jones to a rare Democratic victory in this state,” the New York Times reports.

“That turnout, in which registered black voters appeared to cast ballots at a higher rate than white ones, has become the most recent reference point in the complicated picture about race and elections laws.”

“At issue, at a time when minorities are becoming an increasingly powerful slice of the electorate, is how much rules like Alabama’s voter ID law serve as a brake on that happening. The turnout by black voters in Alabama raises a question: Did it come about because voting restrictions were not as powerful as critics claim or because voters showed up in spite of them?”

Roy Moore Has Still Not Conceded

Washington Post: “Moore, who lost by 20,715 votes, is not in a position to ask for a recount. Alabama law does not trigger a recount unless the margin between two candidates is less than 0.5 percent; according to the latest count by the Associated Press, the margin between Jones and Moore is 1.5 percent.”

“Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who sided with Moore’s campaign during several election controversies, has said that the election will be certified Dec. 28. But at the same time, Merrill’s office has had to brush off conspiracy theories promoted by pro-Moore websites, which have suggested that the results were tainted by fraud.”

“One theory, which went viral before being debunked by, was that multiple black voters were caught trying to vote with fake IDs. (More than 95 percent of black voters supported Jones, giving him his winning margin.) Another, also debunked quickly, was that vans of illegal voters were seen somewhere in the state.”

Roy Moore Was a Truly Awful Candidate

Weekly Standard: “Roy Moore wasn’t a generic Republican candidate. If you’ve ready anything about this race, you know that the Washington Post and other news outlets have published credible claims that Moore had improper sexual contact with teenage girls while he was in his 30s. And even before that, Moore was controversial. He was elected as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court twice, but he was removed from that position in 2003 and suspended from it a few years after winning the seat back in 2012. He won his 2012 election to that position by four points while Romney won the state by 22 points.”

“In other words, Moore was a terrible candidate. And that mattered.”

“No matter how you look at the race, it’s hard to escape the fact that Moore was a truly bad candidate, and that Republicans likely would have performed significantly better if they had nominated a more conventional Republican.”

A Perfect Storm For Democrats

“Everything had to break exactly right for Doug Jones to win the Senate election in deep-red Alabama, and it did. Jones ran a disciplined campaign that hinged on black turnout, and it delivered for him,” The Atlantic reports.

“But everything also had to break the wrong way for the Republicans, and it did: a series of machinations among senior GOP officials led to a runoff between the unpopular Luther Strange and Roy Moore, best known for losing his judgeship over a dramatic battle to keep a 10 Commandments monument in the state supreme court. Moore had a loyal base of support in Alabama despite—or because of—the litany of controversies attached to him, including his inflammatory remarks about homosexuality and Muslims serving in office. But he was unable to reach beyond that base, and barely tried. And in the end he could not survive allegations by nine women that Moore had pursued or sexually abused them when they were teenagers—one as young as 14.”

Jones’s Win Scrambles GOP Congressional Agenda

“Doug Jones’s odds-defying victory in Alabama — handing Democrats a vanishingly rare Senate win in the Deep South — scrambles President Trump’s legislative agenda for the coming year, threatens to heighten Republican infighting and sounds an alarm for the GOP’s prospects in November’s midterm elections,” the Washington Post reports.

“Any dent in the two-seat advantage Republicans hold in the Senate would carry major governing consequences, but the loss of what had been considered one of the party’s safest seats carries a special sting for the GOP.”

“One consequence is Democrats’ much more plausible path to the Senate majority next year. The 2018 map was widely seen to favor Republicans, with 10 Democrats seeking reelection in states President Trump won last year and only two Republican seats clearly at risk.”

A Humiliating Defeat for Trump

“Doug Jones didn’t just defeat Roy Moore in Alabama’s Senate race on Tuesday night — he administered the most crushing and embarrassing political blow of President Trump’s young presidency,” Politico reports.

Dan Balz: “Trump suffered mightily after fully embracing Moore in the final weeks of the campaign, despite credible allegations that Moore had engaged in sexually improper behavior with teenage girls when he was in his 30s.”

“It was the second such setback for the president in a state he won by 28 points just a year ago. In the GOP primary earlier this year, he had endorsed, with limited enthusiasm, Sen. Luther Strange, who had taken the seat of Jeff Sessions when Trump made Sessions his attorney general. For Trump, nothing good has come from that appointment — from a special counsel investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election to a pair of losses in the Alabama races.”