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Cook Report: Alabama Senate Race A Toss-Up

November 14, 2017

Given the demographics in Alabama it is almost impossible to truly believe that the U.S. Senate race will be won by a Democratic candidate.   But should Republican Roy Moore not exit the race, following the news of his sexual interest in teenage girls, and if a write-in candidate does not come forth quickly, then perhaps there is a glimmer of hope for a massive upset down in Dixie.

I have been following the polling and while there is naturally a tightening of the race given the fact a pedophile is running for office, I am also reminded that evangelicals which make up a large part of the GOP base in Alabama have proven in 2016 votes that their stated moral positions on Sunday does not mean much on Tuesday.  With that in mind I was most interested in what The Cook Report had to write about this election.

What if Moore doesn’t win on December 12? In truth, the biggest winner in all of this has been Jones, the Democratic nominee. Apart from condemning Moore and seeing his fundraising spike, Jones hasn’t changed much about his campaign, nor does he have to. Moore’s problems are likely to make it easier for Jones to get his supporters to the polls and to expand his base to include Republicans who can’t vote for Moore or accept the possibility that he could serve in the Senate. It is still a tough road, but it gets a bit smoother every day.

So, yes, this race is a hot mess that is likely to get messier between now and December 12. And, the circumstances of a special election and the allegations against Moore combine to create as much uncertainty as we’ve seen in a Senate race since 2000 when Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan was on the ballot despite his death in a plane crash three weeks before the election. The contest moves to Toss Up, as it is the only appropriate way of describing this uncertainty. Stay tuned.

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