With less than two weeks to go until the Alabama Senate runoff, we’re pulling back our Leans Democratic rating in the race and going to Toss-up. We just don’t feel comfortable making anyone a favorite at this point.
The race is as stern a test of tribal partisanship as one will find, with very Republican Alabama choosing between something of a generic Democrat, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, and a toxic Republican, former state Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was already a weak candidate due to his disregard for the law while on the Alabama Supreme Court before he was rocked by highly credible allegations that he aggressively pursued and sexually assaulted underage girls.
Ultimately, it seems quite possible that socially conservative Alabama voters, like Republicans across the country last year when dealing with Donald Trump, will swallow hard and support a very flawed person who will nonetheless vote the way they want over a Democrat who is, importantly, pro-choice on abortion. The more we think about it, the more we’re inclined to think that in a deep red state like Alabama, partisanship may be too much for Jones to overcome. CONT.
Kyle Kondik & Geoffrey Skelley, Sabato’s Crystal Ball
Roy Moore’s margin in general election polls since GOP primary runoff