Today is the last full day of campaigning in the Alabama special Senate election and the Real Clear Politics polling average has Roy Moore up by 3.8. Of all the polls they track, none has shown Doug Jones with a lead since November 30th, and that one was inside the margins. Yesterday, Allahpundit predicted Moore would win by 7. Personally, I have no idea and still wouldn’t put any bitcoins on it. A special election held two weeks before Christmas where voters are expressing so much disgust with the entire system could still produce record low turnout which could allow anything to happen.
But even in a best case scenario for Doug Jones, there’s general agreement among the chattering class that one thing is true. Jones will still have to overperform compared to normal expectations for a Democrat to a huge degree. In addition to either flipping a significant number of white voters or at least getting them to stay home, he’ll need an Obama-level turnout of the black vote. So has he made the sale in that demographic? One could argue that his team has been generating self-inflicted wounds instead.
The Free Beacon has the story of a mailer which the Jones campaign sent out which seems to have backfired in a big way. The piece of campaign literature which showed up in mailboxes across traditionally minority-heavy precincts had an off-key message which, as one analyst put it, was probably thought up by a white guy trying to picture how black voters think.
ABC’s “This Week” host Martha Raddatz said she wanted to get Sewell’s reaction on the mailer, citing a local African American voter who told a local news outlet that he would not be voting in Alabama’s special election because it was a “complete slap in the face.”
“Think if a black man went after high school girls anyone would try to make him a Senator?” the mailer read…
The Root, an online magazine dedicated to black culture, published a piece on Thursday entitled, “A Racist Flyer Might Cost Doug Jones the Election Because the Entire Democratic Party Is Trash.”
Here’s the mailer in question as shown during the ABC interview, followed by the clip from This Week where it was discussed.
Perhaps you think that the mailer is asking precisely the sort of question the voters themselves might be pondering. Could be, particularly if you work in politics or live inside the Beltway. But as The Root pointed out, that’s not a view which is particularly grounded in reality. It’s as if Doug Jones was worried that there were some large number of black voters out there who were actually thinking that maybe Roy Moore is a swell guy and were planning on voting for him. But if Doug comes along and reminds them about racial disparities in society they’ll all have one of those Wow, I Could Have Had a V8 moments and suddenly vote for him instead.
Yeah. I’m sure black, Democratic voters in Alabama need a lesson on race relations from the generic white Democratic candidate in this race. When your mailer prompts black journalists to declare that your campaign has demonstrated why the entire Democratic Party is trash, you’ve very likely shot yourself in the foot.
This race has pretty much been Roy Moore’s to lose from the beginning, and he still might manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But if that happens it will be from his own tribulations and not the brilliance of Team Jones in planning this battle.