Across the nation, eyes are fluttering open, and people’s thoughts turn to the daily chores of life.
First comes the waking up. That’s the most difficult part for a lot of us, but when we’re up, we’re up. Then, it’s off to the shower, to brush teeth, drink coffee, or whatever else makes up your morning routine.
We prepare ourselves in the morning for the daily scrum. We mentally and physically prepare ourselves to willingly go out into the world and greet the day by shouting “BRING IT!” to the rising sun (if you don’t do that, try it sometime, because it really helps).
In Alabama, however, all eyes turn toward the polling stations. The people of Alabama make a choice today, and it is one that will do more than determine who fills a seat in Washington D.C.
It will determine the future of one or more political parties.
It’s Roy Moore, a Republican who has been accused of having inappropriate relationships with underage, teenage girls. The accusations, which largely appear credible (they certainly have not been debunked, despite the conspiracy theories that abound about the accusers), have been the focus of media attention since they broke in early November. That’s a long time for a story to stay in news cycles, especially by today’s standards.
However, his opponent, Doug Jones, is tailor-made to challenge Alabama conservatives into choosing the lesser of two evils. Jones is an extremist when it comes to abortion, even by Democratic standards. Abortion is a hot issue for Alabama conservatives, and that is one of the key reasons the race never really shifted in Jones’ favor, despite some polling showing him way ahead.
There’s no easy way to say it: The allegations against Roy Moore are incredibly serious. They are so serious, in fact, that several key Republicans have vowed to take action should he be elected. Tim Scott of South Carolina called for him to step aside, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska promised he would leave the NRSC if they endorsed Moore (Colorado Republican Cory Gardner, who leads the NRSC, stated unequivocally that the group would not endorse Moore, unlike the RNC, which doubled back and decided to do so).
This isn’t some media or Democratic conspiracy. This is a very real issue that has members of the party split, and there is no easy solution. You (potentially) have a child molester on the Republican side, and he is opposed by someone who believes in abortion up to the time of birth. What happened here is that tribalism took over.
It became the parties that were important, and not the ideas. The Republican Party is currently run by a mob-like base that seeks to glorify Donald Trump in all that it does. Moore is a candidate who pays the proper amount of respect to and admiration for Trump, so Moore is clearly the right person for the job. That, in this new, tribalist era, is all it takes.
A Fox News poll out yesterday put Doug Jones up +10 over Moore. That raised some eyebrows. Fox’s polling is typically fairly spot-on, and the methodologies are usually legit. Prior to that, Moore was enjoying a comfortable lead in most polling. Emerson had him up +9, Monmouth had it tied, and the previous five polls averaged out with Moore up +5.5.
Currently, taking the Fox poll into account, Moore’s up by an average of +2.2 in the polls. That’s margin-of-error in many standard polls, which leads to one simple conclusion: We really can’t accurately predict what’s going to happen today.
The Final Day
The Republicans in the state of Alabama have to make a choice, and it’s not one I envy them for having.
Do you vote the scandal-ridden, gaffe-waiting-to-happen Roy Moore? A man whose beliefs from the bench are, at best, concerning? A man who sought (allegedly) relationships with girls much younger than him, some of whom were underage?
Do you vote the leftist Democrat who believes in abortion on demand and right up until birth, a belief so extreme even many Democrats shy away from it?
Or, do you simply not vote?
It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen today. One thing we do know, however, is that there are thousands of hot takes headed our way, no matter who wins.
Brace yourselves, lads.