“At some point, we’ve got to stop looking like idiots to the nation.”
— Former NBA star Charles Barkeley, campaigning for Doug Jones (D) in Alabama.
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.”
The New York Times has live election results.
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.”
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.”
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.”
“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.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) told WBUR that he supports the Democrat running for U.S. Senate in Alabama against Roy Moore.
Said Baker: “I certainly don’t want to see Roy Moore win. That means, obviously, that I would be supporting the alternative.”
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.
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.”
“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.”
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.”
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%.
For members: No One Knows Who Will Win 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.”
A new Monmouth poll in Alabama finds slight differences in turnout could dramatically change the outcome of tomorrow’s special U.S. Senate election.
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.”
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