Alabama Senate Race Open Thread [UPDATES – Exit Polls Are Here]
UPDATE: Exit Polls are Filtering Out
Two consequential findings from the NBC exit polls:
Donald Trump has a 48-48% approval rating in the State of Alabama.
54% said the allegations against Roy Moore weren’t important, only 40% said they were important.
Remember, these are very early and could be way off the actual votes due to the charged nature of the race. The numbers aren’t looking good for Democrats at the moment, while they have higher levels in the black belt running through the middle of Alabama, they are getting swamped by a huge turnout in the rural areas and the more Republican friendly southern half of the state.
The exit polls will be adjusted as the numbers come in, at the moment these are just psy-ops to keep people in the lines so they don’t go home.
Original Article Below
In the latest developments, the left is extremely angry about the state Supreme Court which late last night overturned the temporary restraining order issued by a lower court yesterday morning.
The order would have mandated that the Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill force local election officials to keep electronic records of the vote for sixth months.
The state does have paper ballots that are kept for six months after the vote and can be rescanned as necessary during recounts. What the Democrats wanted in this case was for the state to force the local jurisdictions to save digital records of the ballots for the next six months after the election is certified so that they could be used in the event that an election challenge is made.
A lower court judge agreed with that demand and issued a temporary restraining order yesterday morning. After the state Supreme Court stepped in to issue a stay of the lower court’s decision, the news quickly spread around on Twitter:
BREAKING: We just got a call from attorneys John Brakey and Chris Sautter from #Alabama. The State Supreme Court, without a hearing, but on the pure "ex-parte" (i.e. private) complaint of the State, "stayed" — that is, OVERTURNED THIS MORNING’S RULING TO PRESERVE ALL BALLOTS! https://t.co/lZevAjpXhH
— Greg Palast (@Greg_Palast) December 12, 2017
The local judge attempted to enforce a TRO against individuals who were not named parties in the decision to move forward with the implementation of the order. The state of Alabama argued before the state Supreme Court that this was not legal and won the case, the order was vacated by the higher court.
Those supporting the plaintiffs attempted to argue, after the state Supreme Court issued their opinion, that the only state official named as a defendant, the Secretary of State John Merrill, should have been able to force the local governments to keep the records.
Radius provides a prediction on the Alabama election results.
Five Thirty Eight Gives Some Insight Into What to Expect
No one knows which pollling model is going to be correct, will the three “gold standard” polls, AKA live voter polls like Monmouth, Fox News, and the Washington Post, be right? Or will the automated or recorded voice polling engender a more realistic prediction of the final outcome?
It’s also possible, though, that the non-gold-standard polls will be more predictive in this campaign. To meet the FiveThirtyEight gold standard, one thing a pollster must do is use a live interviewer to conduct its surveys. It’s plausible that some voters may not want to admit to another person that they plan to cast a ballot for someone accused of child molestation. They may feel more comfortable saying they are voting for Moore to a recorded voice or to a computer, which is how the vast majority of polls in Alabama have been conducted.
Either way, there’s a lot of reason to be uncertain about how predictive the Alabama polls will be.
In order for Jones to win, he has to win across the central part of the state and the cities with a huge margin to overcome the structural advantages for Republicans in that state:
No Democrat has won a statewide race in Alabama since 2008. During that losing streak, Democrats have tended to do their best in two types of places: counties where a large share of the population is black and cities.
But to win the Alabama Senate race, Jones will have to do even better than a typical Democrat — after all, Democrats usually lose in Alabama. He’ll probably need to run up even larger margins than normal in the black belt and win handily in counties with significant population centers, such as Jefferson (Birmingham), Madison (Huntsville), Mobile and Montgomery. Beyond that, it’s difficult to pinpoint how well Jones will need to do in each county to win — we don’t have a string of competitive statewide elections to get a sense of the baseline.