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The sense that Roy Moore is heading toward victory

The sense that Roy Moore is heading toward victory

Alabama voters doubt accusations enough that they may feel comfortable sending a message of contempt for Washington, both D.C. and Post

All the way back on November 21, 2017, I suggested that given the state of the Alabama Senate special election, Roy Moore was likely to win assuming no new allegations or proof of sexual misconduct came out.

In my post, If Roy Moore wins, thank Gloria Allred and Al Franken, I focused on Gloria Allred’s entry into the case and her refusal to produce for forensic inspection a yearbook allegedly containing Moore’s handwriting:

Based on the present state of affairs, and assuming there are no further revelations, it looks like Roy Moore will outlast the outrage over the accusations, which he denies, that he molested a 14-year-old girl and assaulted a 16-year-old girl almost 40 years ago….

If there was a turning point in Roy Moore’s political fortunes, it was the press conference Gloria Allred held with accuser Beverly Nelson, who emotionally described what she said was a sexual assault behind a diner at which she worked.

That press conference gave Moore two things he needed politically: a chance to make Allred an issue in the campaign, and a piece of physical evidence to attack, the handwriting in the yearbook.

That handwriting, which Allred and Nelson said was Moore’s, is disputed by the Moore campaign, and at least superficially it raises questions. As I noted even before the Moore campaign raised the issue, a proper forensic examination of the document requires examination of the original. The Moore campaign has requested an immediate independent examination….

All Moore needs to do politically is to call the accusations into question, to raise doubts, to turn it into a 40-year-old he said/she said dispute. The yearbook that was declared by the media to be proof of Moore’s guilt now has become that cloud obscuring possible guilt.

As of this writing, the yearbook still hasn’t been produced, Allred has gone to ground and hasn’t been heard from recently, and Moore continues to deny all accusations against him. There have been no new accusations or evidence. (Though I still would not be surprised if more comes out in the days leading up to the election.)

This blur on what happened, and a Trump not-so-subtle non-endorsement/endorsement of Moore, seems to be having an impact.

There isn’t a lot of polling on which to rely, but what polling there is shows a swing back to Moore, as this chart from Real Clear Politics shows:

CBS/YouGov Poll released today not only shows Moore leading among the most likely voters, but more important, that Moore appears to have achieved what he needed to achieve to salvage his campaign, doubt in voters’ minds that the accusations against him are true:

A majority of Alabama Republican voters (53 percent) say the allegations against Moore are a concern, but that other things matter more. One-third of Republicans say the allegations are not a concern to them.

The poll describes a picture of many Republican voters choosing based on other issues: Half of Moore’s supporters say they are backing him mainly because they want a senator who will cast conservative votes in the Senate, rather than because they think Moore is the best person for the job….

The poll also found 49 percent of Moore voters say their Senate vote is in support of President Trump, and 23 percent of Moore voters say the president’s comments about the race, specifically, have made them more likely to back Moore.

Among all registered voters, the president has a 57 percent approval rating in the state. Among Moore’s voters, it is an astounding 96 percent approval.

Doug Jones does not appear to be drawing many crossover Republicans, which he would almost surely need in order to gain ground. Only 9 percent of Republicans say they’re voting for him.

A recent WaPo poll found Jones ahead by 3 points, but also found that voters were skeptical of the accusations against Moore:

The survey shows that the Alabama electorate is divided on the validity of the allegations against Moore. While 35 percent of likely voters think Moore did make unwanted advances on teenage girls, 37 percent say they are unsure or have no opinion. The smallest group — 28 percent of likely voters — say Moore did not make the advances that were alleged.

Women are more likely than men to find the allegations credible and to support Jones, with 41 percent of women saying Moore made unwanted advances compared with 28 percent of men saying the same. Moore leads by 15 points among men likely to vote, while Jones leads by 18 points among likely female voters.

There is also a stark partisan and ideological divide in how voters have processed the allegations, with many Republicans and GOP-leaning groups expressing skepticism.

Fewer than 1 in 6 Republican-leaning likely voters say they believe that Moore made unwanted advances toward female teenagers. That view is held among similarly small shares of white evangelical Protestants and those who say they approve of President Trump, who in recent days has questioned the allegations and urged Alabamians to prevent Jones from winning the seat.

If, as I predicted, Moore needed only to cloud the accusations in order to survive politically, he appears to have achieved that objective.

There is another indication that the race is swinging towards Moore, in the form of a Mitch McConnell walk-back of plans to expel Moore from the Senate should Moore win. McConnell would not be backtracking so much unless he read the tea leaves (or polling done for his Super Pac) and expected a Moore win.

Fox News reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared Sunday to soften his position on fellow Republican Roy Moore’s Alabama Senate bid, saying the voters should “make the call.”

The Kentucky Republican backed Luther Strange, Moore’s opponent in the GOP primary, then called for Moore to quit the general election race after several women last month accused him of sexual misconduct or behavior.

“I’m going to let the people of Alabama make the call,” McConnell on Sunday told ABC’s “This Week.” ….

“Roy Moore should step aside, the women who’ve come forward are entirely credible,” McConnell said last month. “He’s obviously not fit to be in the United States Senate, and we’ve looked at all the options to try to prevent that from happening.”

Overall, what appears to be happening is that Alabama voters have found enough doubt in the accusations that they feel comfortable sending a message to Washington — both to Washington, D.C. and The Washington Post.

If and when Moore wins, the pundits will opine on how poorly it reflects on Alabama voters that they would send to D.C. someone accused of child molestation and sexual assault. Those same pundits will not ask what it is about D.C. that would make voters send such a person.

The message, as Prof. Glenn Reynolds tweeted, is one of contempt:

Alabama will sent Roy Moore to the Senate for the same reason Caligula sent a horse: As a gesture of contempt.

(Caligula horse reference described here.)


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This excuses every Franken that is sent to the Senate in future, just as well. The Caligula rationale.

    rabid wombat in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2017 at 9:14 pm


    If you or I lived in ‘Bama, we would have three choices. For Moore, for Jones, or abstain. What may be a hit job, was announced within the Torrecelli window. If Moore is guilty, why did this not come out earlier? He has been “public” for years. If guilty, he time will come. If Moore is not guilty, this is a world class smear. Please remember, dirty politics is still politics.

    If I had to make a choice – a tainted Moore, or a pristine Jones – I hold my nose, and vote Jones. Would I prefer something else – absolutely. Abstaining or voting for Moore is the same thing. Though Moore may be “pristine”, he may not represent what “Bama wants. What do you do?


      Ragspierre in reply to rabid wombat. | December 3, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      Though I think you messed up the names, I respect your position.

      It would not be mine.

      rabid wombat in reply to rabid wombat. | December 3, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      Yes, I am an idiot – “If I had to make a choice – a tainted Moore, or a pristine Jones – I hold my nose, and vote Jones.”

      Vote Moore


        Tom Servo in reply to rabid wombat. | December 3, 2017 at 11:14 pm

        If I was an Alabama voter – I would reason that Moore may have done something I don’t approve of 40 years ago, but I can’t be sure if it happened or not.

        However, Jones will vote to kill babies as soon as he is in office – he has said so – and I CAN be sure of that.

        So which is worse, the immorality that may have been committed in the past, or the immorality that is guaranteed to be committed by Jones and his followers tomorrow?

        Not a hard question for me to answer.

      My parents live in AL, and the common attitude is that this is a hit job, and neither WaPo nor NeverTrumpers get to try and tell them who to vote for.

      Luther Strange is a straight up crook, and Jones’ is just another Leftist.

    No, it would not.

    With Franken, we have recent photo and video evidence of his wrongdoing before and during his time in office.

    With Moore, we have distant accusations, many of which have been disproven, none of which have been proven.

    But nice try for equivalency.

Jones is trying to look like an ordinary man with his no tie open collar but the disguise is not working.

The polls are crap.

Moore will win (despite the polls being crap). From where I’m sitting—admittedly, nowhere near Alabama—this was never really in doubt.

Caligula’s horse is one of the reasons, but not one of the most important ones. Maybe it barely squeaks in as one of the top ten.

McConnell will do nothing, and will say as little as possible from here on. He didn’t get where he is today by deliberately making things difficult for himself.

It’s worse than just McConnell thinking Moore will win. He senses the fury of the voters; that if he doesn’t seat Moore, there will be hell to pay for him and anyone associated with him.

Regardless of Roy Moore’s conduct 40 years ago, it’s important that the Republicans keep this Senate seat. If the Dems take the seat, there will likely be no more conservative judges confirmed by the Senate.

If we are to have a judiciary that respects the law as it is written, and not how they would like to rewrite it, we need to confirm as many originalist judges as possible. If the Dems take control of the Senate, they will refuse to consider any judges appointed by Trump.

This judicial legacy is more important than my liking or disliking Roy Moore.

If we back off of the “He said- she said” crap and consider the larger picture it is a no brainer to vote for Moore. Think of this opportunity to change the SCOTUS/federal courts for years to come in a way that will reshape our nation’s future. Think of the businesses that having the votes in the Senate will make our economy prosper. Think of our military and how it will flourish under Trump IF he has the votes to take away obamaphones and buy our people proper equipment. Think about getting rid of the monstrosity obamacare. Without the votes, we will never be able to do that. Think of our education system and how obama and his gang of liberals were doing their best to destroy it. Without the votes, we cannot undo it. When you put the Senate seat in this perspective one man is not very important but the vote is.

Even if I were convinced the accusations were true I’d still vote for him (if I were voting in AL, that is) for one main reason: the Democrats can’t be allowed to get away with this or they’ll keep doing it.

As for Alabamans being ashamed for electing him, Missourians deliberately elected a dead man to the senate, because he was their party’s candidate and it was too late to take him off the ballot, so why shouldn’t Alabamans do the same with a live but unfit candidate (assuming that he really is unfit).

Beside, while many of the points he and others have raised in his defense are garbage, some are not. The evidence is far too weak for it to be safe to convict him even in the court of public opinion, let alone a court of law (even if the statutes hadn’t run).

    Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | December 4, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Good points. And people not immersed in the legal world often forget the reason we have things like statutes of limitations – they aren’t some “get out of jail free if enough time goes by” card, which most people seem to think they are. No, the reason they exist is that it’s been widely acknowledged for centuries now that, once enough time goes by, it is virtually impossible for a defendant to exonerate himself, especially against emotional charges that depend primarily on personal testimony.

    Dragging up charges from far in the past, especially for treason and conspiracy, was a favorite way for the old Kings to get rid of troublesome political enemies. Our founders were well aware of the practice, and how often it was abused, and that’s why they made sure to do away with it.

Thane_Eichenauer | December 4, 2017 at 12:49 am

If you want the modern day replacement for polls say hello to PredictIt. Shares of Mooore will win are at 78 cents.

Every poll has been asking if the respondent believes the accusations against Moore.

The % that believes he was falsely accused is up about 20 points in a month.

That’s why Moore is going to win.

Not because ppl will vote for a “tainted” candidate if he shares their policy goals, but because the allegations against him are all either not proven or completely disproved.

It was all BS from the beginning.

What’s “tainted” here is the reputation of the MSM and the RINO establishment.

Which leads to the #2 reason Moore is rising in the polls and will win: people are angry over being lied to. For many, this vote is a big Screw You to everyone involved in pushing these bogus allegations.

Same thing happened with Trump – the claims against him were proved to be BS also and it ended up helping him.

Congrats everyone! Pedophilia now defendable.

    Tom Servo in reply to shrinkDave. | December 4, 2017 at 10:07 am

    In a comical way, this troll is displaying the attitude that is destroying all of the Democratic power brokers in Hollywood and elsewhere.

    Democrats like this one are taking the position that any accusation by a woman against a man MUST be believed, and to ask for proof is to “disrespect” the victim and show one’s own moral perfidy.

    The problem is that the accusations keep rolling out against all of these Democrat Luminaries, a new one every day. Garrison Keiller? Matt Lauer? The entire male staff at NPR? Starting to look like abuse of women was, up until now, one of the widely accepted perks of being a good and loyal democrat male!

    And the dem’s can’t back off of this because to do so would invalidate their claims against their enemies. So they keep throwing their own long time loyalists onto their very special bonfire of the vanities, and curse the world for the fact that even with all of that, they still cannot touch their enemies.

    The left is insane, and like lunatics everywhere, hell bent on destroying itself. Keep on keepin’ on, fellas!

    CaptTee in reply to shrinkDave. | December 4, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    He was a Democrat at the time of the alleged events. Everyone knows how Democrats rally around their criminals. Tell me how much time Teddy Kennedy served for DUI at Chappaquidick?

    That ship sailed in 1983 when Gerry Studds, D-Masshole, was caught in a House elevator with an underage male page. Not expelled, and then re-elected 7 more times.

    ooddballz in reply to shrinkDave. | December 5, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Bill and Hillary thank you for your support.

    CrustyB in reply to shrinkDave. | December 5, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Thank you, director of “Chinatown.”

Our country needs Moore. Thank God for Alabama.

‘If and when Moore wins, the pundits will opine on how poorly it reflects on Alabama voters that they would send to D.C. someone accused of child molestation and sexual assault. Those same pundits will not ask what it is about D.C. that would make voters send such a person.”

Is it really contempt to decide this was a hit job made just before an election and after a primary?

Did Gloria Allred appear before or after the Republican primary against Trump? Coincidence?

It isn’t just contempt but disbelief that is making Alabama voters disbelieve these reports that none are more recent than 40 years ago and just before the election.

I bet if this woman who was 14 years old would have made her accusations at the time we could have blown her story apart because both parties could have had their stories checked that Moore met her on a street corner and then she magically gets home after this encounter.

I love it when a forgery is done so well that it proves itself to be a forgery.

The yearbook “signature” exactly matched the stamped signature on the mother’s court paperwork including the initials of the assistant who used the stamp!

    CrustyB in reply to CaptTee. | December 5, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Apparently “accused” = “guilty” in the liberal lexicon. Unless you’re talking about Michelle Obama’s silicone packer (don’t Google that.)

I’m suspicious of the allegations because I was involved in a similar case. A controversial judge was running for re-election and someone who didn’t like him tried to blemish his reputation when it was too close to the election for a proper investigation.

The Sheriff received an anonymous (of course) report that the judge had been using cocaine in his bathroom in the courthouse, and there was white powder on the sink. The Sheriff knew that it was too close to the election for the state lab to do an analysis. Any public report of “Judge X is accused of using cocaine in the courthouse” would wreck his chances of re-election.

So the Sheriff sent his investigator and a State Trooper to collect the evidence, and they brought it to me. I analyzed it and it was talcum powder. I gave a written report with spectra to the Sheriff, and he put it all into a confidential file in case someone later asked whether the report had been investigated.

The accusations were never made public, and the election took place without any chicanery. (I think the judge lost the election, but at least it was fair.) In the case of Roy Moore, the accusations were also made too close to the election for a proper investigation, but there is no definitive test to determine the truth. Therefore, I suspect that this timing was planned to have the greatest possible effect on the election.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Some say the country is as ideologically divided today as it was before the Civil War. I’m not sure I buy it, but I’ve seen the claim made by others.

Imagine it is 1860, rather than 2017. In which case Moore would be running as an anti-slavery Republican against a pro-slavery Democrat.

If you were an anti-slavery Republican before these accusations against Moore were made public, would you now vote for the pro-slavery Democrat? Or help the pro-slavery Democrat win by staying home and not voting?

If one believes the ideological gap between the parties is truly wider than ever, then some people will be voting for ideology rather than the candidate.