“Don’t let anybody talk about Alabama, talk down to Alabama,” Booker told an audience in Birmingham Sunday afternoon. “And please, I’m from Jersey. I definitely don’t want some people just singling out a few folks on the Jersey Shore TV show and thinking that’s my entire state.”

Knowles, after Saturday’s prayer breakfast, told BuzzFeed News that “people already view Alabama as a rural area, people that are not smart. And I think, you know, if Moore’s elected, it reinforces a belief that many have had about Alabamians.”

“I just think the perception of the state is also at stake,” he added. “We’re not just voting for a person or voting for a party, we’re voting for the perception of Alabama.”