A Suburban Shellacking

New York Times: “Voters in Alabama’s cities and most affluent suburbs overwhelmingly rejected Mr. Moore’s candidacy, an ominous sign for Republicans on the ballot next year in upscale districts. In Jefferson County, which includes Birmingham and some of the state’s wealthiest enclaves, Mr. Jones, the Democratic candidate, captured more than 68% of the vote. And in Madison County, home to Huntsville and a large NASA facility, Mr. Jones won 57 percent of the vote.”

“While these Alabamians, many of them women, may have been appalled by the claims of sexual misconduct against Mr. Moore, results like these were not isolated to this race. They mirrored returns in last month’s statewide and legislative races in Virginia, a state filled with well-heeled suburbanites.”

Trump Congratulates Doug Jones

President Trump congratulated Doug Jones (D) in a tweet for his Senate victory in Alabama:

Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!

Alabama Election Results

The last polls close in Alabama’s U.S. Senate special election at 8 p.m. ET.

Nate Silver: “Because Alabama rarely hosts competitive races, the benchmarks we might use in another state won’t be as reliable as usual. Furthermore, it’s not just the margins in particular counties that matter, it’s also the level of turnout. As a result, everyone (including us) is going to be more cautious than usual in ‘calling’ a winner or even characterizing who’s ahead until a fair number of votes have been counted… Buckle up for what could be a long night.”

David Wasserman has an excellent follow-at-home model estimating the vote shares Jones and Moore need to exceed in each of Alabama’s 67 counties to win tonight.

NBC News and FiveThirtyEight have good live blogs featuring analysis as the results come in.

The New York Times has live election results.

When Will Alabama Actually Have a New Senator?

CNN: “The earliest the state could certify a winner would be December 26, but the secretary of state’s office does not expect the canvassing board to be able to do so until January 3, and it could be even later, delayed by slow canvassing by the counties and jam-packed holiday schedules between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Once it does, that certification would be sent to Washington immediately. Once the winner is certified, the Senate would likely in swear that person quickly.”

Interesting Exit Poll Result

President Trump’s approval in the early Alabama exit polls is very interesting: 48% approve, 48% disapprove. Trump won Alabama in the 2016 presidential election with 62%.

But what’s even more interesting is the intensity: 32% strongly approve, 41% strongly disapprove.

Nate Silver: “From the tidbits the networks have released, it’s fair to characterize the exit polls — showing Trump’s approval rating only breakeven, a relatively high proportion of nonwhite voters, and a relatively narrow gap between Democratic and Republican turnout — as containing mostly favorable news for Jones. In general, these numbers are more consistent with the pre-election polls that had shown Jones tied or ahead, and not the ones that had Moore winning.”

How Democrats Are (Quietly) Getting Out the Vote

New York Times: “With only hours until the polls open on Tuesday in this unlikeliest of battleground states, Democrats are deploying a sprawling, multimillion-dollar get-out-the-vote operation in an effort to steal away a Senate seat and reduce the Republican majority to a single vote.”

“A constellation of liberal groups outside the state has showered money and manpower on turnout efforts aimed at helping Mr. Jones. But they are working discreetly, hoping to avoid the appearance of trying to dictate whom Alabamians should support.”

Alabama Turnout Could Be Much Higher Than Expected

First Read: “New data provided to NBC News puts the universe of registered voters at 3,326,812 ahead of a hotly contested special Senate election on Tuesday in Alabama. Secretary of State John Merrill, a Republican, has already increased his turnout prediction from 18 to 20 percent last month now to upwards of 25 percent, reflecting the degree to which interest in the contest between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones locally is catching up with national attention.”

“But as local election officials prepared for polls to open Tuesday there were indications that turnout could be even higher still, approaching levels in some cases typically seen in midterm general elections. And neither party is willing to suggest what that says about the final outcome.”

Polling places in Alabama close at 8:00 pm ET.

How Bannon Rescued Roy Moore

Bloomberg: “Bannon worked to create a counter-narrative that ultimately would change many Republicans’ perception of the Roy Moore scandal. A former filmmaker, he’s long been captivated by the propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl, the Nazi filmmaker, and the Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein for their power to shape public sentiment.”

“Earlier this year, Bannon told the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer his 2012 anti-Obama film The Hope and the Change, had consciously mimicked Riefenstahl’s infamous, Triumph of the Will. Her film, he added, ‘seared into me’ that unhappy voters could be influenced if they felt they were being conned.”

Moore Rips Establishment In Final Campaign Appearance

“A defiant Roy Moore returned to the campaign trail Monday evening, delivering a thundering speech at an election eve rally in which he implored Alabamians to ignore outsiders who he said were bent on stopping him in the Senate special election,” Politico reports.

Said Moore: “We dare to defend our rights and we will defend our rights. We’re up to our neck in people that don’t want change in Washington, D.C., they want to keep their power, keep it the same, keep their positions, and we’ve got to change that.”

Olivia Nuzzi: “Roy Moore emerges from hiding for election eve rally, and good lord, was it weird.”

Roy Moore Is Probably Slightly Favored In Alabama

Nate Silver: “Because you’ve read so much detail about the polls, I don’t want to leave you without some characterization of the race. I still think Moore is favored, although not by much; Jones’s chances are probably somewhere in the same ballpark as Trump’s were of winning the Electoral College last November (about 30 percent).”

“The reason I say that is because in a state as red as Alabama, Jones needs two things to go right for him: He needs a lopsided turnout in his favor, and he needs pretty much all of the swing voters in Alabama (and there aren’t all that many of them) to vote for him. Neither of these are all that implausible. But if either one goes wrong for Jones, Moore will probably win narrowly (and if both go wrong, Moore could still win in a landslide). The stakes couldn’t be much higher for the candidates — or for the pollsters who surveyed the race.”