For a period, it appeared the multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore were dragging down the twice-Alabama chief justice, and Democrat Doug Jones was poised for a victory.
But, Moore appears to have regained his momentum. Of course, anything can still happen in this race.
But I believe I know the reasons Moore has regained his footing:
(1). The Jones campaign and Alabama Dems have wisely told the national Dems to stay away. ["Blue collar" Joe Biden was the exception!] Outsiders campaigning for Jones would be the kiss of death in a state such as Alabama. But Alabama Dems have welcomed the outpouring of money from national Dems / liberals / progressives. Uncharacteristically for Alabama, a Democrat campaigning for statewide office rules the Alabama airwaves, with an onslaught of spots attacking Roy Moore.
But could that not be a two-edged sword? People are not stupid -- in any state. Could it be these commercials are boomeranging, making Moore an object of sympathy in the face of this onslaught, and prodding some conservatives / traditionalists -- even those disturbed by the allegations of sexual improprieties -- to return to Moore? Perhaps too many attack ads have produced a ricochet effect. The old problem for Dems in off-year elections: Energizing the African-American vote.
(2). And in politics, it always comes back to the U.S. Supreme Court and abortion. I have argued for several years that the issues of gay rights and gay marriage are (almost) settled in this country. But despite the relative durability of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, in my estimation, abortion never will be truly settled in this country. On Right and Left, it remains the single galvanizing issue. It trumps (pun intended) all else, no matter how deeply flawed the candidate. Alabama is a deeply traditional state. Some "pro-life", anti-abortion voters are coming back to Moore, even if they don't necessarily believe or trust Moore's repeated denials of the accusations against them. Plus... their disdain for the national "mainstream" media and political parties...
It's interesting to speculate: What if Democrat Doug Jones were that rare, "pro-life" Democrat, like the late Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey Sr.? Of course, as a consequence, no way would the Jones campaign be getting all that national money from the Dems. [Although as noted above, maybe that would be ultimately a good thing for Jones, if all those commercials are actually hurting him!] Could abortion alone decide this race in Alabama?
Now to The Hill on the galvanizing effect of the abortion issue.
So instructively, could abortion even trump the most emphatic, sincere, plea from one of Roy Moore's accusers? From al.com.