There are two outcomes for tonight. Republican Roy Moore will either win and Democrat Doug Jones will lose, or vice versa. But the question is, will it matter either way?
If Roy Moore wins, Republicans will surely be on a path to never-ending questions about whether they support or even simply approve of Moore as the choice of the majority of Alabamian voters.
It will also mean Democrats — with an initial assist from Republicans — laid a perfect trap for Republicans in the weeks leading up to December 12. With the retirement of John Conyers and the (sort of) resignation of Al Franken, Democrats laid their sacrificial lambs out and sat by waiting for Republicans to elect Moore in Alabama.
With several of President Trump’s accusers coming out on Megyn Kelly’s morning show on NBC, and more calling on the Republican Congress to investigate President Trump’s sexual harassment allegations, — something Republicans and honest Democrats will see as a colossal waste of time and money — the ground has been laid for Democrats to claim the moral high ground over Republicans.
On the other hand, if Moore wins by anything less than what the uncontested Jeff Sessions won with (97 percent of the vote in 2014), Democrats and even Republicans will do the same as after the GA-06 special election and claim a reverse Pyrrhic victory. They may have lost, but they got so close to a win in a state where they shouldn’t have got close is as good as a win. Especially in light of how devastating the win will be for Republicans given the reasons above.
Welcome to the New American electorate. Where whether you win or lose when you’re a Republican is a relatively moot point because they’ve accepted tribe over values.