Alabama US Senate Special Election Liveblog Part 2

1036 ET – We are going to call it a night.

1032 ET – AP called it for Jones joining RRHElections.

1026 ET – People are going to dismiss this as just because of Moore, but there is clearly an anti-Trump undercurrent in formerly heavily Republican suburban areas.

1020 ET – Jones has taken the lead finally. Only downhill from here for Moore.

1016 ET – Barring some sort of freakish counting in Jefferson County, Jones appears to be on track to a 2% win.  We now live in the Dictatorship of Senator Collins and Justice Kennedy.

1012 ET – It appears that suburban voters even in Alabama are not buying the Trump/Moore version of the Republican Party.

1005 ET – Moore’s lead has been cut down to less than 1% with Jefferson County making another large vote dump.

1000 ET – At this time, I don’t see how Moore wins this barring turnout going over a cliff in Birmingham.

955 ET – The NY Times prediction model continues to have Jones leading, but it seems to be getting less certain of that as more results come in.

951 ET – Crazy one from tonight’s exit poll… Roy Moore is winning college educated white women by 11%.  Romney won them by 55%.

942 ET – More votes are coming in, but Moore’s margin is not falling. At 65% and Moore is up 6%.

933 ET – The New York Times predictor dial is going crazy.  Not as crazy as 2016 POTUS though.

930 ET – We have reached 50% of precincts counted – Moore is up by 4%.

922 ET – I am going to open a new thread due to technical issues with the initial thread.  With 41% in, Roy Moore leads Doug Jones by 5 points.  The NY Times predictor is calling for a Jones victory of about 4%.

[AP] [NY Times]


Alabama US Senate Special Election Liveblog Part 1

9:54 ET: More votes are coming in at 68% and Moore is up 50.6% to 48%. Moore has 24K vote lead.

9:30 ET: Total precincts reporting 958/2220 Jones 211,850 votes 46% Moore 237,653 votes 52% Write-in 6,337 1%

902 ET:  With one hour since the polls closing in the books, Roy Moore has a 12 point lead over Doug Jones with 12% in.

850 ET: Dirty Roy has taken the lead with 5% in.  He is up 51 to 48, but I think it will definitely swing back the other way a few times even if Moore ends up winning.

845 ET:  It appears Moore is running a few points behind his 2012 numbers with 3% in.

840 ET:  With 1 percent in, Jones leads Moore by a 20% margin.

825  ET:  The results we are getting are on the county level so who knows where they are coming from.

816 ET:  A few results are starting to trickle in, but nothing of consequence.  We are probably a half hour away from a better picture.

809 ET:  We are experiencing intermittent technical issues, but our Twitter feed is going strong.

800 ET:  Polls have closed in Alabama.

750 ET:  Ten minutes until polls close in Alabama to see if a pro-choice liberal can beat a child molester in Alabama.

645 ET:  We still have over an hour until the polls close in Alabama, but I am going to open up the thread for discussion of the exit polling, which appears to be bad for Roy Moore.



Political Roundup for December 12th, 2017

Today is the Alabama Senate special election. We will have a results liveblog up later tonight when polls close.


CT-Gov, CT-AG: As expected, prosecutor Chris Mattei (D) is dropping out of the face for Governor to run for Attorney General. He will join State Rep. William Tong (D) in the primary for AG.

MI-Gov: Wealthy progressive “scientist” Shri Thanedar (D) is on the air  early with a new commercial in which he wears a lab coat, looks stupidly at a beaker, proclaims “science” and attacks Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Snyder. The Michigan gubernatorial primaries are in August.

OH-Gov, OH-LG: Rep. Jim Renacci (R) has tapped Cincinnati councilwoman Amy Murray (R) as running mate.

RI-Gov: Former state Rep. Joe Trillo (R) is leaving the GOP to run as a right-wing independent spoiler for Governor. Internal polls for Cranston Mayor Allan Fung showed Fung crushing Trillo in the GOP primary and showed Fung leading incumbent Gov. Gina Raimondo by a 46% to 41% margin. Having Trillo siphon off votes from his right in the general election will only hurt Fung’s chances of winning next November.


AL-Sen: Polls have been all over the place and this election will really come down to turnout today. With that in mind President Donald Trump has made robocalls on behalf of Roy Moore (R). It is important to give credit where credit is due. One of the fears of #NeverTrump conservatives was that as President Donald Trump would hang congressional Republicans out to dry and wouldn’t lift a finger to help them get re-elected. Now that we see the efforts Trump has made for an accused child molester just to give Senate Republicans an extra vote I think it is safe to say the #NeverTrump folks were wrong. In fact most #NeverTrump folks are probably horrified at the length President Trump is willing to go to to ensure a GOP Senate!

IN-Sen: State Rep. Mike Braun (R), the self-funding third wheel in the Rokita/Messer primary fight, voted in Democrat primaries for over 20 years until 2012.

MN-Sen: Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) is considering running in the special election to fill the remainder of Democrat Sen. Al Franken’s term if Franken follows up on his promise to resign in disgrace and go away.

WY-Sen: Here’s a blast from the bast! 2006/08 House nominee Gary Trauner (D), who was a SwingStateProject favorite and came closer than expected in both of his runs during Democrat wave years will run for Senate vs incumbent Sen. John Barrasso (R).  Barrasso was re-elected in 2012 with 76% of the vote.

VA-Sen: We are not sure if the Virginia GOP US Senate primary is reality or an elaborate Onion parody. Three days after Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart tweeted  “@TheDemocrats got cocky forging @BarackObamabirth certificate. Thought they could slip phony #AllredYearbookFraud by on @MooreSenate. Sad!!” EW Jackson (R) kicked off his Senate campaign by accusing Corey Stewart of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood! Luckily for sane Republicans there is talk of Jim Gilmore (of all people) entering the GOP primary because that’s how batsh**t crazy things have gotten for the Virginia GOP that JAMES STUART GILMORE III is now thought of as a potential savior! Of course Del. Nick Freitas (R) is running as well but why would the Virginia GOP want to back a former Green Beret who served two tours in Iraq, who has a solid conservatarian record and is not completely insane.


AZ-8: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has set February 27th as date of the special primary and April 24th as the special general election to fill the vacant R+13 seat formerly held by Rep. Trent Franks (R- Republic of Gilead). Former Public Service Commissioner Bob Stump (R) and state Sen. Steve Montenegro have become he first candidates to throw his hat in the ring for the special election. Former state Rep. Phil Lovas (R) resigned his post at the national Small Business Association in anticipation of a run for this congressional seat. State Rep. Darrin Mitchel (R) is also interested in running.

CA-48: LOL! Former Google executive Rachel Payne is the 8th Democrat to enter the jungle primary for this R+4 seat held by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R). The unbelievably large field of Democrats increases the odds that Republican Stelian Onufrei could make the top two runoff with Rohrabacher.

MI-11: Businessman Suneel Gupta (D), brother of CNN TV Doctor Sanjay Gupta becomes the 5th Democrat to enter the primary for the open R+4 seat Rep. Dave Trott (R) is retiring from.

NC-13: Rich lady Kathy Manning (D) will run for the Democrat nomination to challenge Rep. Ted Bud in this R+6 seat. Manning can self fund her campaign.

KY-6: After Democrat activist sunk over $800,000 into Amy McGrath’s viral campaign for this R+9 seat held by Rep. Andy Barr (R), Lexington Mayor Jim Gray decided to tell her she can’t be a Congressman. Now jockeying has opened up for Lexington mayoral office which Gray will vacate to run for Congress instead.

Yesterday was the filing deadline in Texas so we have a lot of Texas news today

TX-21: Former Ted Cruz Chief of Staff Chip Roy (R) will run for this R+10 seat currently held by retiring Rep. Lamar Smith (R). Roy’s campaign is being staffed by a number of Cruz campaign veterans.

TX-27: Bech Bruun (R), who serves on a state water board, has filed to run against Rep. Blake Farenthold (R) who is one of the many Congressmen caught up in the pervnado. Bruun joins Victoria County GOP chair John Cloud (R) in the GOP primary against Farenhold in the R+13 seat.

TX-29: Former Harris County Sheriff and unsuccessful 2015 Houston Mayoral candidate Adrian Garcia (D) will not run for Congress in this open D+19 seat of retiring Rep. Gene Greene. Garcia will instead run for a purple R-held Harris County commission seat.

TX-32: Television reporter Brett Shipp (D) filed to run in the Democrat primary to challenge Rep. Pete Sessions in this R+5 district. Shipp joins a very crowded field for the Democrat nomination which include former Hillary Clinton senior adviser Ed Meier, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development special assistant Colin Allred, former deputy undersecretary for rural development Lilian Salerno and Dallas lawyer George Rodriguez.

State, Local & Other:

AR-Lands Comm: Democrats seem to have landed a semi-credible candidate for Land Commissioner in ex-Garland CE Larry Williams (D). Finding credible candidates to run for office has become increasingly difficult for the Arkansas Democrat Party.

SC-AG: State Rep. Todd Atwater (R) is in and will launch a primary challenge to incumbent Alan Wilson (R).

TX-Lands Comm: Ex-Lands Commissioner Jerry Patterson (R), who lost the GOP primary for Lt Governor last year, will primary incumbent George P. Bush.

KY HD-49: Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson (R), who was blasted for sharing racist facebook posts last year but won anyway, is accused of molesting a 17-year old.


Alabama Senate Special Election Preview

Tomorrow is, of course, the closely-watched special election for US Senate in Alabama. Polls close at 8p ET and we will of course be liveblogging. If you’ve been reading this blog (or even following political news) regularly, you probably don’t need me to recap the gory details, but just in case, we shall revisit the circus. Scroll down to participate in a poll of our site readership…

Roy Moore

Ex-State Supreme Court Justice (and RRH 2017 Turkey of the Year Award Winner) Roy Moore (R) is the GOP nominee. Moore’s first stint on the state Supreme Court ended with his removal after he refused to take down a statue of the Ten Commandments in front of the courthouse. After being re-elected to the court in 2012 (by a single-digit margin), Moore was removed again over ordering state officials to disregard SCOTUS’s Obergefell decision. Moore has had a dedicated base of social conservatives, but is something of a one-note character on religious issues. Indeed, Moore made a notable gaffe in the primary campaign when he appeared to have no idea what the DACA program was. That single-minded focus on religious social conservatism always made Moore a tough sell to less-devout Republicans. But Alabama is still among the most religious states in the nation, and his evangelical base, along with Trumpist vitriol against the establishment and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), was enough to carry him to a primary win – and looked likely to carry him to a solid, if unimpressive, general election win in the deep-red state. But then of course November happened, and an explosive story from the Washington Post that Moore was, in the words of our Turkey of the Year nomination, proving that “mall-walking is a great way for our senior citizens to stay young.” Several women have accused him, in well-corroborated accounts, of habitually and aggressively hitting on teenage girls while a 30-something prosecutor in the late 70s and early 80s, including incidents that might have been prosecutable as statutory rape had they come to light within the statute of limitations. Moore’s crisis management of the situation was beyond terrible, giving several awkward interviews in which he didn’t deny the stories. The situation caused many national Republicans to disown Moore, and some, including Sen. Cory Gardner (R), have called for his outright expulsion from the chamber should he win.

Doug Jones

The beneficiary of this circus looked set to be Moore’s rival, ex-US Attorney Doug Jones (D). Jones was a well-regarded prosecutor in the Clinton administration, but mostly stepped up to run here when no other Democrat wanted to. Indeed, he even had something of a tough time beating a random Some Dude in the Democratic primary, and before the allegations he was thought likely to turn in a relatively typical double-digit loss, like most other Alabama statewide Dems in the deep-red and inelastic state. But once the Moore story broke, Jones became the focus of a torrent of Dem enthusiasm, which led to massive fundraising… but also much closer scrutiny of his positions. And Jones did himself no favors as that phase of the race intensified; with his poll numbers surging amid Moore disgust, he felt no need to even feint to the center and hide his staunchly liberal views. In particular, Jones’s pro-choice stance, including support for late-term abortion, is an anathema to the median Alabama voter. That position, combined with an environment ripe for whataboutism as Democrats (at least temporarily) rallied around Moore’s fellow perverts Sen. Al Franken (D) and Rep. John Conyers (D), has led to a sense Republicans slowly have been flowing back to Moore as a tolerable evil.

For a time, there was a frantic scramble among Republicans for a write-in candidate. After no truly credible write-in emerged, retired marine Lee Busby (R) entered the race two weeks ago. Busby is essentially a Some Dude and has no name recognition, though he does have a borderline credible resume from serving as vice-COS to James Mattis when the latter was a general. Busby might get a point or two from anti-Moore Republicans disgusted with both options, but it seems unlikely he will take enough to materially impact the race.

Polls in this race have seesawed wildly, going from a Moore lead to a significant Jones lead after the allegations broke and back to a moderate Moore lead in the last two weeks (though a minority have Jones in the lead) Overall the race is almost impossible to peg, but there is a general sense that Alabama’s conservatism and the inability of Jones and national Dems to capitalize on the situation have swung the race back Moore’s way. However, an upset is still possible and outcomes ranging between double-digit wins *for either candidate* would not entirely shock me depending on how turnout shakes out. For more info, I recommend this article from Geoffrey Skelley at UVA/Crystal Ball, which has county baselines.  RRH Elections currently rates this general election as Lean R.

There are also four legislative specials tomorrow in three states. The lone general is in Iowa. IA-SD-3 is an R+21 seat wrapping around (but not including) Sioux City, including some outer suburbs, as well as rural areas near Le Mars. State Rep. Jim Carlin (R) is the clear favorite to move to the upper chamber over local superintendent Todd Wendt (D) unless we have some sort of Oklahoma situation. There are also three primaries, two in Alabama and one in Oklahoma. AL-SD-26 is a ~D+30 seat covering essentially all of Montgomery’s black-majority neighborhoods. Five Democrats are facing off, three of them quite prominent. State Rep. John Knight (D) is the front-runner as he has backing from the powerful teachers’ union, but he could face a runoff with one of two Montgomery councilmen, David Burkette (D) and Fred Bell (D). Two other Dems, teacher Tony Cobb (D) and a Some Dude, look like long-shots to make a runoff. The winner will be a prohibitive favorite over a GOP Some Dude in the general. AL-LD-4 is a ~R+22 seat covering eastern Decatur, extreme southwestern Huntsville, and nearby suburban areas around where I-65 crosses the Tennessee River. Businessman and Trump campaign operative Tom Fredericks (R) looks like the clear front-runner, but may be held to a runoff with either marketing manager and hospital board member Parker Moore (R) or dentist Tom Willis (R). The primary winner will be favored over a Democratic Some Dude in the general. Finally, OK-SD-27 is an R+37 seat covering the Panhandle and rural areas at the northwest corner of the state near Woodward. Six Republicans are facing off in the crowded primary. State Rep. Casey Murdock (R) and RNC member Carolyn McClarty (R) look like the front-runners, but teacher Travis Templin (R) and businessman and veteran Jeff Hall (R) also seem serious enough to pull an upset. Two others, 2012/16 candidate Tommy Nicholson (R) and a Some Dude, seem like long-shots. The winner will face local Dem official Amber Jensen (D) in a February general.

And now a poll of our readership…

[poll id=”28″]


Political Roundup for December 11th, 2017

Check back at 3pm Eastern today for our preview of tomorrow’s mess in Alabama.

Big Picture

Campaign Finance: This is a must-read article. Apparently, most of the justification for the John Doe investigations against prominent Republicans and conservative groups in Wisconsin that have played out and then been litigated themselves over the past few years was a misinterpretation of campaign finance law. One mistake by one bureaucrat upended the lives and breached the privacy of dozens of people. If you’re still not interested, know this: files found in the basement of a state agency were labeled ‘Opposition Research.’ If you made this stuff up, you’d be accused of lazy writing.

Redistricting: It looks like we’re going for a Double Decision, folks. SCOTUS has combined the lawsuit against Maryland’s Rorschach-esque congressional map with the lawsuit against Wisconsin’s cleaner-but-still-gerrymandered congressional map. Stay tuned for another exciting episode of Anthony Kennedy: Philosopher-King.

Superdelegates: It looks like the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating process is about to get more, well, democratic. The party’s ‘Unity Commission’ has come up with a plan to cut the number of superdelegates down to members of Congress and a few other party elders. I’m skeptical that this will mollify the Berniebros (they’re generally not the compromising type), but hey it should work well as long as Democrats are united in opposition. Expect to have this fight all over again the next time there’s a contested nomination without a Republican president in office.


AL-Sen: For days before tomorrow’s special Senate election, Creepy Roy (R-McConaughey’s character in Dazed And Confused) has been nowhere to be found. This is a classic run-out-the-clock tactic when you have a candidate who’s winning, but is known for saying outlandish things. The race has been moving in Moore’s direction over the last few weeks as the initial shock of the allegations against him fades.

AZ-Sen/AZ-08: Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) says that he’s not interested in running for the House seat that Rep. Trent Franks (R) is vacating due to allegations of not having boundaries, but that he’s considering running for Senate. I’m actually not completely horrified by this idea, because he could very well split the Crazy Unelectable Person vote with State Sen. Kelli Ward (R) and allow Rep. Martha McSally (R) to prevail in the primary.

AR-02: State Rep. Clarke Tucker (D) may be nosing around the race against Rep. French Hill (R), if a report about a poll being conducted is accurate. Tucker represents a district in Little Rock that goes from downtown all the way out to the small town of Roland (it’s designed to elect a moderately liberal white Democrat, which is what Tucker is). He’d be wave insurance no doubt, but he’s one of Arkansas Democrats’ few rising stars. I’d watch him closely even if he doesn’t jump into this race.

AZ-02: Tucson businesswoman Lea Marquez-Peterson (R) is being floated by local party grandees to replace Rep. Martha McSally (R). The district swung from R+3 in 2012 to D=2 in 2016, so this should be a marquee race unless there’s a wave.

MI-13: After the resignation of longtime Congresscritter John Conyers (D-Bernie’s Place in the Hamptons), there was an expectation of a swift special election. Instead, the seat will sit vacant until it’s filled by the result of the 2018 midterm election and a simultaneous special election for the last two months Conyers’ term. State Sen. Coleman Young Jr. (D) joined the race for this seat last Friday, joining fellow State Sen. Ian Conyers (D) and John Conyers III (D).


NY-Gov: Former Erie County CE Joel Giambra (R) is exploring a bid against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). who’s seeking a third term next year. Buffalo isn’t a small place, but you have to wonder whether the NYGOP will ever be able to take the governor’s mansion back if they can’t even get someone better than a former county official from a secondary metro area.


CA-AD-45: In yet another gust of Pervnado, California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Encino Man) has now resigned his seat after being accused of pleasuring himself in front of a woman at a party in Las Vegas. I guess what happens there doesn’t really stay there. Anyway, this opens up his safely blue San Fernando Valley seat, and the Democratic primary will likely get very crowded.

CO-SD-34: A State Senate candidate in Denver seems to be a pioneer in political advertising. Alan Kennedy-Shaffer (D) is running in a clown car primary for this safely Democratic seat, and has decided to target stoners with ads on the walls of dispensaries. Apparently the checkout lines are often slow (I wonder why), so customers should have ample time to read the ads while waiting to buy their kush or chronic. I’d say it’s a bit odd to target a group that is notorious for having low voting rates, but hey, someone has to be the first to try. I guess we’ve found our guinea pig.

MN-HD-62A/MN-HD-62B: Here’s an interesting one for you; both state representatives from this state senate district in southern Minneapolis are retiring at the same time (interestingly, both are also lesbians). I expect the primaries for these seats to get fierce, as there’s been a lot of political and social turmoil in the southern part of the city lately (at least by Minneapolis standards). Expect both seats to pick especially-lefty lefties; there’s no question of the dish, only the flavor.


Weekend Open Thread for December 8-10, 2017

We have a quiet weekend without any elections scheduled.  However, we do have one ratings adjustment to make ahead of Tuesday:

AL-Sen Lean R from Likely R

Now as we wonder who else will be ran out of Congress for being a weirdo and/or pervert:

(1) What should be the response of Senate Republicans if Dirty Roy is elected on Tuesday?

(2) What elected officials benefit most from the ongoing sexual harassment/assault tsunami sweeping away perverts in its path?

Because it’s the weekend…. we give you the greatest political speech ever HERE!


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