Priorities USA had a long list of potential themes to choose from: Moore’s history as an accused molester; his ties to white supremacists; his opposition to Obamacare; Doug Jones’s endorsements from civil-rights leaders; and more.
The most effective message, as I described in the column, ended up being one about education — how Jones would help more people go to college and get good jobs. I didn’t have room in the column to describe what the least effective message was: One that cast Moore as a rubber stamp for President Trump.
People who heard this message actually seemed to become less likely to vote. As Civis Analytics, a data firm hired by Priorities, wrote in a memo, “This finding is consistent with previous research on African-American voters, which suggests that many feel less motivated to be politically involved when Trump’s name is invoked.”