Sunday, November 12, 2017

Alabama Voters Could Elect Roy Moore Again - UPDATED 11/16/17

[UPDATE Nov. 16, 2017:  Here's a Washington Post article that lists the scenarios in this race they see ranked from least likely to most likely:
6.  Moore drops out before Dec. 12 election.
5.  A new election is held
4.  The state party forces Moore out
3.  Moore stays in but another Republican launches a write-in campaign
2.  Moore stays in the race and he wins or loses
1.  Moore stays in the race, wins, and the Senate expels him (Yes, this is their most likely scenario)

Reporter Amber Phillips points out Scenario 1 would take time, all during an election year.]

I admit, I have biases about states like Alabama and Mississippi.  My impressions are not just whimsy.   Their records on racism are abominable.  They are poor on other factors that suggest a parochial self-awarenss and low  levels of general knowledge and critical thinking abilities.

Alabama ranked last in quality of school at Nationsreportcard, Mississippi ranked 6 from the bottom.  (I would note Mississippi was ahead of California.)  I'd also note that Alabama ranked 39th among states and Mississippi 45th in the US News and World Reports ranking of states on K-12 education.

I'd note a Gallup poll that says nationwide, 38% of the population believes in creationism and that the world is 10,000 years old or less.  It's not broken down by state, but Alabama matches the the characteristics of believers (less education, Protestantism, regular church attendance) better than most states.

Alabama and Louisiana ranks highest with 90%of people who say religion is very important in their lives. says Alabama is the 6th poorest state in the nation.  Alabama and Mississippi have regularly ranked #1 or #2 for number of adherents to the Southern Baptist convention and percentage of population that is Southern Baptist.  This is a denomination, from what I can tell, that encourages independent thinking and rationality in its members, only to the extent that it conforms to a literal interpretation of the Bible.  The Southern Baptist interpretation.

Is there a chance Alabama won't elect Roy Moore to the US Senate?

The Berlin Wall fell and gay marriage is legal in the United States, so anything is possible.

There are, after all, Democrats still in Alabama.  Finding out how many Democrats isn't that easy.  I've gone through the state of Alabama election website.  The voter registration page only tells you how to vote.  It doesn't give any numbers of registration by party.

Wikipedia's Alabama Democrats page just tells us how many Democrats are in the state government:

  • 8 out of 35 seats in the state senate  
  • 33 out of 105 seats in the state house,
  • 1 out of 6  seats in the US House, and 
  • 0 of Alabama's 2 US Senate seats  

So, Democrats are there.

I did find a page where I could download voter registration statistics. Here's what got downloaded for 2017. (Well, I'm just giving you the totals, not the county by county numbers.) It was by race, not party.

Total Active & Inactive
American Indian
Federally-Registered (may be of any race)
Not Identified
Total Active
TOTAL   3,253,717    19,157    11,644    843,794    2,364    27,360    46    2,260,945    30,885    9,547    3,205,742 

And I found an article on by Kyle Whitmire whose article is similar to one I wrote in 2014 about Anchorage voter registration statistics.  Whittier points out that if Alabama really had 3,330,802 registered voters (his numbers are from 2016), then 99% of eligible voters would be registered.  Way beyond the highest stats for any state.

[I did find another page on the Alabama election site (the Secretary of State site) that has some election results from 1984 to 2014.]

The New York Times says that 729,547 Alabamans voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.  That was 34% of the vote.  Trump got 62%.

The Alabama Secretary of State page does show the results of the recent Republican primary.
Roy Moore got 262,207 votes for 56%.
Luther Strange got 218,066 votes for 44%.
That was a total 480,270 votes in the Republican primary.  Presumably these were Republicans because it was the Republican primary.

So, if all the registered African-Americans voted for the Democratic candidate Doug Jones and all the people who voted in the primary voted for Moore, Jones would win.

But it seems Moore's political incantations drip with the kinds of magic words that sway enough Alabamans, words like Jesus, Bible, Fake News, Ten Commandments, New York times, Lies, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump.  If his spells still work he'll be sitting in the US Senate next January.

But, if Democrats can get all their folks to the polls (not an easy thing to do in Alabama with its history of voter intimidation) and enough Republicans sit the election out, the Republican majority in the Senate could drop to 51-49.

But remember, this is the guy who defied the federal courts with his marble ten commandments in the Alabama Supreme Court and who was reelected to that court after he was kicked off.

But will enough Alabamans vote against him because of his dalliances with a 14 year old?  I don't think it will be that big a deal for most of them.

Both Alabama and Mississippi are among the highest states for teen pregnancies.  Someone's having sex with Alabama's teens.  And they're not going to be repulsed by his record.

Findlaw tells us that the minimum age for marriage in Alabama is 16 (for boys and girls) WITH parental permission.  18 without.  However, there's a comment:
"Marriage under 16 is voidable, not void. Marriage between 16 and 18 without parental consent is not grounds for annulment."
This is a story that isn't going to end until the elections (if then) so stand by.


  1. ' parochial self-awarenss and low levels of general knowledge and critical thinking abilities'
    Sounds like a State that would elect Don Young every two years. Kind of a broad brush you are using to describe those folks.

    1. Well, Oliver, I did follow that with links that offered objective support for my biases. The poor education, the high rate of teen pregnancy, the power of the Southern Baptist church on people's thinking, not to mention the legacy of the civl war and racism all lend support for the sentence you quote.

      I considered a sentence or two at the end that raised some issue with rankings in general, and I did even acknowledge Alabama being ranked differently by different organizations. But they tend to be on the low (not good) end on various measures, even if sometimes they're a little higher and other times a little lower.


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