Alabama's Special Senate Election gained a lot of interest; partly because nationally we're very primed for politics, because Alabama managed in its own way to have it as colorful as possible, and because it gave a lot of people an excuse for Alabama bashing. Oh well, it's over with a close win by Doug Jones over Roy Moore.
Now so many are acting like it's a total surprise. Don't be totally surprised. Let's consider how things shook out, as we say.
1. Jones won the four most populous counties (Jefferson, Mobile, Montgomery, and Madison). Those include Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, and Huntsville. And also a lot of suburbs. Looking at the precincts there also indicates that Jones won with a lot of middle class voters. In a lot of ways, the population voting patterns were roughly identical to how they went in Virginia a few months ago: urban vs. rural.
Roy Moore, by way of contrast, was strongest in the stretch above Tuscaloosa and around Gadsden, other than Madison. These are counties that are marked by lower education levels and which tended to become less populous.
2. African-Americans came out and voted. This is apparent in the south central counties where they are near to or actually the majority, and in Birmingham and Montgomery.
3. There was an unusual number of write-in votes. I would surmise than most of those couldn't quite vote Democratic; but could not stomach Roy Moore, either. It was significant that the other Alabama senator, Richard Shelby, asserted that he wrote in the name of another, unnamed Republican, instead of voting for Roy Moore.
4. The accusations regarding Roy Moore and teen girls did turn off a lot of voters. That's all people talked about. Doug Jones's support of abortion rights, while a handicap, turned out to be less of one. In short, Moore came out looking toxic.
5. The National Republican Party was initially cool to Moore; but largely changed its mind due to the prompting by President Trump. As it turned out, they missed an opportunity to come out smelling like a rose in this whole weird story.
6. And, damn it, Roy Moore would do such puerile stunts like riding his horse to the polls to vote. This conveyed the undesirable impression that Alabamians are hicks that do quaint things.
Anyway, I've got a smile on my face today. I guess there will not be a lot of work done today in Alabama; but some great sex going on tonight!