Recently, I read a politico.com article that quotes Senator Doug Jones as saying, “let’s just do it again” when responding to Roy Moore’s claim that the Alabama Special Election was stolen from him back in 2017.
Senator Jones’ response is an interesting one given what we know about what occurred in Alabama during the Fall of 2017. I think it would be virtually impossible to just do 2017 again. Here are a few reasons why:
- The ballot will not be the same as 2017.
- The next election cycle in Alabama will have President Trump at the top of the ballot. Remember, 62% of Alabamians that voted in 2016, voted for Trump. Don’t discount the straight party vote. In my view, this gives a republican at least a 10 point advantage even if all things are equal.
- The Special Election of 2017 was a binary choice between Doug Jones and Roy Moore. Another way to describe this would be to use the word, “referendum.” The 2020 ballot will list several national, state and local elections that will attract voters to the polls for many different reasons.
2. The 2020 Alabama U.S. Senate Race will be harder to manipulate.
- Binary elections are easier to manipulate since you are dealing with a specific choice. In 2017, the disinformation campaign known as “Project Birmingham,” convinced a large portion of Alabama voters that Roy Moore was a pedophile. The choice among those influenced by Project Birmingham became, Doug Jones or a pedophile. Yes, there were candidates written in, but I believe the 20,000 or so that wrote in a candidate were eclipsed by republicans that just crossed over and voted for Jones. I estimate anywhere from 65,000 to 100,000 republicans voted for Jones.
- Alabama voters have been made aware of manipulation attempts since 2017. I predict in 2020, any strange or negative social media activity related to conservative candidates in Alabama will be presumed, rightly or not, to be disinformation.
- Remember, Project Birmingham actually touted the fact that no media outlets reported of their existence during the 2017 campaign. This is a key reason that they succeeded at taking out Roy Moore. 2020 will be different, voters will be wary of their tactics.
3. Hard Rs will increase as a result of Project Birmingham.
- In 2017, over 650,000 Alabama voters voted for Moore. This was after he was branded as a pedophile! Project Birmingham called these voters “Hard Rs.” These were voters that were not swayed by allegations of sexual assault against Moore and will love nothing better than to return to the polls again in 2020 and vote the same way again.
- The Hard R number may very well increase due to the backlash that Alabama voters will exhibit as a result of being duped by Project Birmingham. We could see that 650,000 increase to more than 750,000. This estimate doesn’t reflect the straight party voters that would not have shown up in 2017. I’m predicting that anywhere from 650,000 to 750,000 may turn out to vote for Roy Moore in the 2020 primary should he decide to run.
This is iron bowl country! Alabamians would love a rematch between Jones and Moore. Especially if they believe they were duped in 2017.
The question I’m asking is, will Judge Moore run in 2020 and if not, which republican will get his endorsement?
Comment below and let me know what you think!