It’s no longer just a scare: Roy Moore is behind in the Alabama Senate race. Can the Republican Party catch up?
Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, talks to constituents before a Republican Senate candidate forum, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, in Pelham, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Alabama is a great state for the Republican Party. Donald Trump won 62% of the vote, and Richard Shelby beat that at 64%. Republicans won 6 of 7 US House districts. However Roy Moore, like Donald Trump, has a history of underperforming. When George W. Bush got 57% for President, Roy Moore only got 55% for Chief Justice.
In 2012 when Roy Moore ran again for Chief Justice, He only got 52% of the vote. Mitt Romney got 61%. That’s right. Mitt Romney lost the election, but Roy Moore ran far behind him, giving the Democrat a chance to win the office of Chief Justice.
So even though Alabama is usually a sure win for Republicans, it’s less surprising than you think that Roy Moore is now losing. In his last statewide election he only won 52-48, so all it took was a move of a few percentage points to put Doug Jones ahead of him in the Senate race, and technically that’s where the poll average now has him. Jones is up by less than a percentage point, so it’s realistically tied, but by the numbers, Jones is winning and Moore is losing.
It’s hard to see what the Republican Party can do about it, either. Moore won’t quit. Democrat turnout is looking sky high this year. Unless Republicans can find a way to exonerate Roy Moore, or somehow put Donald Trump on the ballot, it’s looking grim for the Alabama Republican Party this year.