Today, the United States has collectively turned its gaze on Alabama, anxiously awaiting the results of the Senate special election which pits Republican and accused pedophile Roy Moore against upstanding Democrat Doug Jones.
While many fear a repeat of the catastrophe that was the 2016 election, others are more optimistic and believe the Democrats could seize a Senate seat that they haven’t held since 1992. It would be a major victory and would give liberals one more, much-needed line of defense against Trump’s destructive legislation.
Polls close in Alabama at 8 P.M. EST and the first exit poll results are expected sometime this afternoon. That said, early reports give reason for cautious optimism.
Renowned statistician and political analyst Nate Silver, of the popular website FiveThirtyEight.com, has tweeted out a message stating that voter turnout is high today. This is great news for Doug Jones, whose chances of victory rely on high vote numbers.
Wow, hearing lots of reports of high turnout in areas that confirm my priors.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 12, 2017
Silver’s prior analysis of the election included a breakdown of the discrepancies between different polls, some showing Jones with a commanding lead, others Moore, and still others neck and neck.
In one article, Silver points to two major factors that will decide the Alabama special election: Doug Jones needs high turnout and he needs swing voters to show up for him. It now appears that the first criterion is being met. Silver wrote previously:
“The reason I say that is because in a state as red as Alabama, Jones needs two things to go right for him: He needs a lopsided turnout in his favor, and he needs pretty much all of the swing voters in Alabama (and there aren’t all that many of them) to vote for him. Neither of these are all that implausible. But if either one goes wrong for Jones, Moore will probably win narrowly (and if both go wrong, Moore could still win in a landslide). The stakes couldn’t be much higher for the candidates — or for the pollsters who surveyed the race.”
Silver is right that the stakes are high for the candidates but more importantly, the stakes are high for the country. If Americans elect a serial child molester to the United States Senate, our moral standing on the world stage will be irreparably damaged. Alabama can’t afford to let Moore win and neither can the country as a whole.
The news from Nate Silver comes on the tail of another good report on voter turnout. Joyce Alene, a University of Alabama Law Professor and former U.S. Attorney for Birmingham under the Obama Administration, tweeted out a report on turnout so far in a key precinct.
Alene says that an upper-middle-class precinct of Birmingham — a precinct where Doug Jones needs strong turnout to win — has seen upwards of 940 votes cast as early as 2:30 PM. In the 2016 presidential election, when turnout is almost always much higher than during mid-terms and special elections, the precinct in question only saw 1324 totals.
In other words, at this rate, the precinct might see a greater turnout than the 2016 election, which would be a much welcome surprise. Alene tweeted:
Interesting turnout snapshot in today’s Alabama Senate race: in an upper middle class precinct in Birmingham, where Democrat Doug Jones needs strong turnout, 1324 total votes were cast in the 2016 presidential election. As of 2:30 pm today, the same precinct is at plus 940.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) December 12, 2017
Hopefully, the numbers bear out and Roy Moore is buried in this election. If even half of the allegations against him are true he belongs in prison, not the U.S. Senate. Doug Jones is the best choice for the people of Alabama, and he will have the courage to stand up to our disastrous president.
The federal government already has one vile sexual predator in power in Donald Trump, it doesn’t need another in Roy Moore.