As of 10:15 p.m. with 86 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones are just about tied at 49 percent. It appears that the untallied votes remain in heavily Democratic parts of the state. Even though Moore has been ahead for most of the vote count tonight, the New York Times nevertheless is giving Jones a 74 percent chance of winning.
(This post is being updated regularly with new results as they are released.)
Polls have closed in Alabama as voters there decide between controversial former judge Roy Moore and … um … not Roy Moore.
Technically Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones, as well as potential write-ins like Libertarian Party candidate Ron Bishop. But pretty much the entirety of the race has revolved around Moore's behavior and character, his troubled past, his disinterest in rule of law while claiming to be a champion of the Constitution, and what it fundamentally means for the Republican Party moving forward if voters embrace Moore despite (or because!) of all the allegations of misconduct.
I'll openly acknowledge personal hostility against Moore based on his lengthy history of extremely homophobic behavior, so overwhelming that his defiance of the Supreme Court on gay marriage was what got him booted out of the judiciary in Alabama.
Here's a Moore campaign spokesperson just today explaining why Muslims can't serve public office (he is wrong, obviously):
Roy Moore campaign spokesman says Muslims shouldn't be in US Congress because they have to swear on the Bible. @jaketapper lets him know that's not the case https://t.co/2lQPwuRXrC— CNN (@CNN) December 12, 2017
I'll also note, though, as a relevant observation, that the more power government has over the lives of individuals and their families, the more likely maintaining control over that power will outweigh any moral or ethical considerations. We're seeing that attitude play out among those who are considering holding their noses and voting for Moore anyway even if they disagree with his positions or his behavior.
Regardless of whether Moore wins or loses tonight, the Republican Party will maintain control over the Senate, by either one (if Moore loses) or two votes (if Moore wins). The race matters as a referendum on the direction of the Republican Party itself and how much voters will embrace Trump-style combative populism.
Polls are all over the place, and I'm certainly not going to make a prediction. CNN is reporting from its exit polls this afternoon that there's a much higher turnout of African-American voters than intially predicted, more than 25 percent of those turning up.
But I will predict that if Moore does lose, it's going to be the way that Hillary Clinton lost—too many people who typically voted Democrat didn't like Clinton and didn't vote for president at all. The same could happen in terms of how Alabama Republicans perceive Moore.
This blog post will be updated throughout the evening to follow the election results.
This post first appeared on FREEDOM BUNKER: The Best Libertarian News And Chat, please read the originial post: here