2017 Campaign

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.”

Quote of the Day

“It’s a much more poisonous atmosphere. I don’t know if there’s causality or correlation, I leave that for others to determine. But I could not honestly say to someone that I like and think is a halfway decent human being, ‘Yeah, you ought to run for office’.”

— Ed Gillespie, quoted by the Washington Post, in his first interview after losing the Virginia gubernatorial race.

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.”

New Poll Shows Moore Ahead in Alabama

A new Change Research poll in Alabama finds Roy Moore (R) leading Doug Jones (D) by six points in tomorrow’s U.S. Senate special election, 51% to 45%.

Earlier, we also had a Fox News poll that showed Jones leading by ten points and a Monmouth poll that, depending on turnout model, showed both candidates either ahead or tied.

For members: No One Knows Who Will Win In Alabama

Condoleezza Rice Urges People to Vote In Alabama

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Alabamians to vote in tomorrow’s special Senate election, the Birmingham News reports.

Said Rice: “This week’s special election will be one of the most significant in Alabama’s history. As a native daughter, I remain – at heart – an Alabaman who loves our state and its devotion to faith, family, and country.”

She added: “I encourage you to take a stand for our core principles and for what is right. These critical times require us to come together to reject bigotry, sexism, and intolerance.”

Turnout Is the Big Question In Alabama

A new Monmouth poll in Alabama finds slight differences in turnout could dramatically change the outcome of tomorrow’s special U.S. Senate election.

  • A standard midterm turnout model gives Roy Moore (R) a slight advantage, 48% to 44%.
  • A higher, although less likely, near-presidential election turnout would give Doug Jones (D) a slim lead, 48% to 45%.
  • An adjusted midterm estimate based on patterns seen in last month’s Virginia gubernatorial race – i.e. relatively higher turnout in Democratic strongholds – puts Tuesday’s election up for grabs, 46% to 46%.

Said pollster Patrick Murray: “In a typical year, we would probably default to the historical model, which shows Moore ahead. It could still end up that way, but both 2016 and 2017 suggest that typical models may not apply. If we see a surge in Democratic turnout, especially in the Birmingham region, Jones has a chance.”

New Poll Shows Jones with Big Lead In Alabama

A new Fox News poll in Alabama finds Doug Jones (D) with a 10-point lead over Roy Moore (R) in the U.S. Senate special election, 50% to 40%.

Big caveat: “This race’s uniqueness is significant. It is impossible to know who will show up to vote in a special election to fill a seat in the middle of a term in an off-year. And it’s December, a time when people expect to be going to the shopping mall, not the voting booth.”

Also interesting: “A subtle but potentially noteworthy finding is Alabama voters who were interviewed on cellphones are +30 for Jones, while the race is roughly even among all others. The fact that traditional, high-quality probability samples, like the Fox News Poll, include both landline and cellphone numbers may be why these polls show Jones doing relatively well compared to automated or blended polls.”

Obama Records a Robocall In Alabama

Former president Barack Obama “is adding his voice to the Alabama Senate race, imploring voters to go to the polls Tuesday to reject the candidacy of Roy Moore as part of an aggressive effort by Democrats to try and counter President Trump’s full-throated endorsement of the controversial Republican candidate,” CNN reports.

Said Obama: “This one’s serious. You can’t sit it out.”

Obama’s message is intended to specifically reach black voters whose turnout is critical for Democratic candidate Doug Jones.

Politico says former vice president Joe Biden also recorded a robocall.

Trump Bucked Everyone In Backing Roy Moore

Politico: “White House aides advised the president against getting involved in the contest, and his endorsement is a testament to the futility of trying to guide a boss guided by instinct who relishes taunting the political establishment he now runs. That includes not just McConnell but members of his own staff and even his daughter Ivanka, whose harsh words for Moore worked only to push the president in the opposite direction.”

“Trump had experienced a similar desertion in the summer of 2016 when the infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape surfaced. He was angered to see the same establishment figures now ditching Moore.”

Michael Warren: Why did Trump go all-in for Roy Moore?

Moore Proposed Eliminating All Amendments After 10th

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) “appeared on a conspiracy-driven radio show twice in 2011, where he told the hosts in an interview that getting rid of constitutional amendments after the Tenth Amendment would ‘eliminate many problems’ in the way the US government is structured,” CNN reports.

“Moore cited the 17th Amendment, which calls for the direct election of senators by voters rather than state legislatures… The host agreed with Moore, before turning his attention to the 14th Amendment, which was passed during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War and guaranteed citizenship and equal rights and protection to former slaves.”

Said Moore: “People also don’t understand, and being from the South I bet you get it, the 14th Amendment was only approved at the point of the gun.”