The Patriot Press

Special Election Preview: Alabama Senate Race

By Gabe Geytsman, Asst. Senior Editor and Election Forecaster

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On December 12th, 2017, Alabamians will head to the polls to vote for one of the state’s senator positions in an election initiated by President Donald Trump’s nomination of Alabama senator Jeff Sessions to the position of Attorney General. The Republican nominee, Roy Moore, will square off against Democratic nominee Doug Jones. The state’s heavily Republican partisanship will mark off the terrain as hostile to Jones, but the election has been controversial enough, and Moore shabby enough of a candidate, that anything is possible in this riveting Senate race.

The most significant factor that turns the tide against a Republican running in a heavily Republican state is the slew of sexual assault allegations against Roy Moore. At least five women have alleged that Roy Moore acted in an improperly sexual way against them while they were in their teens and he in his thirties. Moore has denied all of the allegations, but the fallout included many prominent Republicans to abandon their endorsement of his candidacy and call for his abdication of his position as Republican nominee. However, President Trump accepted Moore’s denials and endorsed him; days later, the Republican National Committee, which had previously cut off funding to Moore’s campaign, restored funding.

The election is complicated by the fact that Trump had previously endorsed Moore’s opponent in the election primary, Luther Strange. Trump claimed that Strange gained massively in polls of the election following his endorsement, though this was not the truth. Trump seemed to be attempting to fill the role of kingmaker, testing out his ability to wield control over the Republican party.

Moore, meanwhile, has a host of unsavory political skeletons in his closet that were abruptly pulled into the spotlight by the inquisitive media. After Moore, as a judge on the Alabama Supreme Court, refused a federal court’s order to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments, he was suspended from the Court in 2003; in 2016, he attempted to block the implementation of gay marriage and was suspended again. His political stances include strong opposition to homosexuality and Islam, drawing harsh criticism from many media sources; however, this position jibes well with the Christian right in Alabama.

Looking to the present, polling leaves great uncertainty about the outcome. Donald Trump’s margin in Alabama was almost 30%, and the state is one of the most Republican in the country; however, polls show minor or major leads for both candidates. There’s simply no way to tell what’s going to happen, but it’s worth, for the sake of making predictions, to conjecture that Roy Moore loses the election, as polls have underestimated the margins of Democrats in the November elections.

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Gabe Geytsman, Assistant Senior Editor

This senior somehow ended up being Assistant Senior Editor. Gabe formerly held the post of Political Analyst in his junior and sophomore years. He enjoys...

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Special Election Preview: Alabama Senate Race