Democrat Doug Jones Has Advantage in Money and Organization –
By Glynn Wilson –
MOBILE, Ala. — A new survey of likely voters in Alabama’s special senate election seems to indicate that sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore revealed by the press in Washington have not driven voters away but in fact energized his conservative base.
There may be a silver lining at the end of the story, however. See below.
JMC Analytics and Polling out of Louisiana now says Moore has rebounded and is leading Birmingham attorney Doug Jones 48 percent to 43 percent. With 5 percent undecided and a margin of error of 3.8 percent, this race is still very close, and experts agree voter turnout will decide the outcome.
“There are three main takeaways from this poll,” according to JMC. “Roy Moore has regained the lead he lost in the last poll, as partisan preferences have reasserted themselves. Similarly, Republicans have regained their plurality lead on the generic ballot test, and sexual misconduct allegations against Moore have not materially impacted the race.”
While Donald Trump carried Alabama by an overwhelming 62 percent to 34 percent in the presidential election last year, the softening of his approval ratings nationally was also apparent in Alabama, although it has now stabilized. It was 51-41 percent in the October poll, 52-41 percent in the last poll, and 52-43 percent in this poll.
Race and gender matter in how people view Trump. Blacks in Alabama disapprove of his performance 87-4 percent, while women are tied 46-46 percent.
“On the other hand, whites give him a 67-28 percent approval, while men approve by a somewhat smaller 59-39 percent majority,” the pollsters say.
Since the last poll, both Republicans in general and Roy Moore specifically have regained their plurality leads, and this arguably can be attributed to existing partisan preferences’ reasserting themselves.
In the last poll, Moore was tied 47-47 percent among male voters and trailed 42-48 percent among women. While he still trails by a similar 44-50 percent among women (leaners included), he has rebounded among men and leads 54-37 percent.
Similarly, among self-identified evangelicals, the 57-34 percent support he had in the last poll is now 64-29 percent. The numbers barely changed among non-evangelicals, where his 22-73 percent poll deficit is now 23-72 percent.
Another way of looking at what’s going on is to analyze partisan preferences by aggregating the results by urban, suburban and small town/rural counties.
In the last poll, the four largest counties (Jefferson, Madison, Mobile, and Montgomery) favored Jones over Moore by a margin of 59-33 percent.
“That lead has shrunk to 53-38 percent,” the pollsters indicate.
Moore’s lead in the suburban counties (Autauga, Baldwin, Blount, Elmore, St Clair, and Shelby) has gone up from 54-34 percent to 61-34 percent.
And in the remaining 57 counties, Moore’s lead has similarly increased from 50-43 percent to 53-41 percent.
“When the last poll was released, allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore had just been publicized,” JMC says in it’s analysis of the numbers. “Since then, additional allegations have come out, but the poll results then (and now) didn’t show that these allegations have appreciably changed the poll results.”
Even in this poll, 29 percent are more likely to support Moore over the allegations, 38 percent are less likely, and 34 percent said it makes no difference.
“It’s when examining the correlation of these responses to the ballot test that it’s again apparent how partisan lines have hardened, and those alignments benefit Moore,” they say.
“In summary, Roy Moore has regained his lost lead,” they conclude. “While the race is not a certainty for him, the solidification of existing partisan preferences benefits his campaign.”
As these numbers were announced, I had a conversation with Democratic pollster Zac McCrary in Montgomery on Twitter. In his analysis of the poll, the racial breakdown assumes a voting electorate of 75 percent white, 23 percent African American.
“If Jones can shape the electorate to 71 percent white — 27 percent African American — then the race is virtually tied, with both candidates around 47 percent,” he said. “Turnout will decide this race – and energy and organization favor Doug Jones.”
When I probed him more about this, he said: “I believe that there is more organic energy among Democrats than Republicans in this climate and Jones has a better-funded organization than do Republicans heading into Election Day.”
A recent story in Politico, a very mainstream news website that only covers politics, in other words its no “liberal rag,” had a story two days ago that may indicate an advantage for Jones in the final two weeks that could potentially make up the difference just in time for election day on Dec. 12.
Doug Jones and Roy Moore both released new television ads on Monday. But many Alabama voters will see only one of them.
That’s because of the massive disparity in TV ad spending between the two candidates in the Alabama special election to a Senate seat, where Jones, the Democratic candidate, is outspending Moore roughly 7-to-1.
Moore Emerges From Hiding
Meawhile, former judge Roy Moore has emerged from hiding after a 10 day hiatus and is going on the offensive by hitting the campaign trail again at an event in Theadore, near Mobile, Alabama. Moore will speak at Magnolia Springs Baptist Church Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. We will be there to cover it.
Doug Jones will be in Montgomery on Wednesday holding a roundtable discussion with area teachers, talking about the importance of ensuring Alabama kids have access to quality education from pre-school to college and technical schools.
“Roy Moore has compared preschool and early childhood education to Nazi indoctrination,” Jones says. “He (Moore) said preschool leads to ‘totalitarian regimes like those of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin’.”
This smacks of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s involvement in the Moore campaign, who is twisting words to confuse voters much like Karl Rove used to do for George W. Bush. It is Bannon of Breitbart News who has been called a “white nationalist” and a neo-Nazi.
Since the national Republican Party, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other mainstream Republican outlets and pro-business groups have abandoned supporting Moore financally, especially due to the allegations of sexual misconduct, Moore’s campaign has turned to a hate group for funding. IndianaFirst, led by Caleb Shumaker, has had ties to a fringe party considered a hate group by leading civil rights organizations, according to NBC News.
On December 5, Bannon himself is supposed to be showing up to campaign with Moore in Fairhope, accross the bay from Mobile.
“I look forward to standing with Judge Moore and all of the Alabama deplorables in the fight to elect him to the United States Senate, and send shockwaves to the political media elites,” Bannon told CNN, the cable news outlet Trump likes to call “fake news.”
People in the know realize it is Bannon and Breitbart News that are the leaders in the “fake news” movement, a fact the Washington Post should have pointed out in the very first story that started this “fake news” craze right after the election in November, 2016.
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.