Tuesday’s Alabama Special Election for U.S. Senator is rapidly approaching as this weekend’s final campaign push is beginning. Alabama voters alone will make the definitive choice on December 12.
The rest of the country gets to watch. That is not to say outside influences haven’t been directed full bore at high volume towards the beating Heart of Dixie (and proud of it) state. In fact, Trump.45 is so concerned he has arranged two pincer events to influence things. First a Friday 2020 Campaign rally in Pensacola, (20 miles down the road from Alabama’s state line, followed by a quickie in-and out stop for a private viewing at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson MS on Saturday. Jackson is located 130 miles from the western Alabama border on I-20 West. Trump will fly in on Air Force One, with his good buddy African American Ben Carson & wife to demonstrate his solid commitment to recalling civil rights.
Trump On the Wing for Moore
Pensacola’s rhetoric is for the red meat crowd; presumably a more amiable Trump.45 visit about civil rights might appeal to wavering suburban Republicans in Alabama wondering about their vote
In either case, this is a high profile double clap from an outsider intended to manage Alabama voters’ sentiments, as if they can’t think for themselves or recognize a cheap ploy for what it is. The simple question is if Trump.45 wants Alabamians to vote for Roy Moore, why doesn’t he just come to Alabama, say Mobile or Montgomery, and say so. Directly. Why creep around the back door with a smirk, as if he has been a naughty boy but nabbed the candy anyway, under everyone’s nose.
Who is going to tell Trump.45 he can’t show up in Alabama on his own stick for a straight up elect-Moore rally? Who is he hiding from exactly? The President is giving Alabama voters the back of his hand again, denying them the respect and full attention they deserve.
First he supports Luther Strange against Moore, then he flies to Alabama to back off his Strange endorsement, then he twits that Moore is his guy. Trump.45 jets off to Europe, and the sexual allegations about prowling around adolescent girls explode, and Trump.45 is Twitter AWOL, while he thinks about it, and Huckabee Sanders issues a vanilla ‘if Moore did it, he should quit the ticket’ place holder announcement, as Trump.45 waits to see which way the wind is blowing.
Back in the U.S.A. three days later, Trump.45 ducks comment on Moore, then he waffles, then he backs off, then he warms up, then he is a weak positive, and now Trump.45 is a Tweeting fool in full support of Judge Moore, and making brave speeches in Florida.
What, Air Force One can’t find the airport in Mobile to land?
Let’s get back to the objective record of Roy Moore’s running for state office in Alabama. In Part I we presented the basic facts of Roy Moore’s political election history in Alabama from the time he graduated law school in 1977 until the present day.
In Part II we look at his lifetime general election performance as a statewide candidate for office in Alabama.
Part II: Roy Moore’s Electoral History of Running for Office in Alabama
As documented in Part I, Moore has run for statewide office in Alabama four times in the past, always as a Republican. He has won twice, and lost twice.
Below are three tables that summarize the results of Moore’s persistent and incessant quest for elected public office (statewide, if possible), over more than 40 years of striving since the day he graduated from Law School. In total he has run eight times in county and statewide races, and snatched a temporary judicial appointment after his first two straight losses and a couple years abroad (Texas and Australia), before he came back to wage his continued electoral fight.
We will focus on his judicial elections ambitions, and then his statewide races.
To sum up, as of today, he has completed four statewide campaigns in Alabama, none for a federal office. He ran twice for governor and lost in the Republican primary, and twice for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (2000, 2012) winning both times. In each case where he won, Moore was removed from office involuntarily by the Alabama Court of Judiciary (2003, 2016). Thus he has never completed a full term of office, nor finished any statewide term of office in a satisfactory manner, to the detriment of Alabama taxpayers who have had to foot the bill to pay him.
Roy Moore is on the brink of completing his eighth run on Tuesday as the 2017 Alabama Special Election for U.S. Senator concludes this Tuesday, December 12, 2017.
Major Sources for Data in the Tables in this Post
Brief Discussion for Part II
Table 1 provides the basic data for Alabama statewide political elections in which Moore has been a candidate at the Primary Election Level or better. There are five such races: Governor (2006, 2010), Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court (200, 2012), and the 2017 Special Election for U.S. Senate (current).
For our purposes, we have included every major statewide political contests in Alabama: Governor, and U.S. Senator, as well as the Chief Justice elections where Roy Moore was a candidate from 2000 through 2017. Of course, we intend no slight to other statewide office holders in the Great State of Alabama, only that they are not directly relevant to Roy Moore’s history and ambitions, as he has never run for any of them. Nor have we included other Chief Justice elections in which Roy Moore was not a candidate during this period for the sake of simplicity.
The main object is to observe what effect Roy Moore’s presence or absence as a candidate potentially has on the election results for statewide office in Alabama in the last 20 years, and how this may be reflected as Alabama voters go to the polls on Tuesday for the final 2017 election to choose their next U.S. Senator.
Results by percentage and actual vote totals are given for Primary, Run Off , and the General Election for each contest, as well as Moore’s rank in the Primary election. Moore’s contests are highlighted in red. The reader will note that oftentimes no Run Off Election was held, in cases one candidate or another received more than 50% of the Primary Votes.
It is convenient that in every statewide election contest considered here since 2000, every single one has been won by the official Republican candidate. That ought to be Good News for Roy Moore. Maybe not, on closer examination.
Table 2, using the same general metrics, includes the same level of detail for major statewide elections where Roy Moore was not a candidate, also for the entire period from 2000-2017. In those races the comparable numbers for election percentage and actual number of votes cast received by the eventual winner of the Republican nomination and General Elections are provided.
There were eight such major elections in Alabama since 2000: Governor (2002, 2014) , and U.S. Senate (2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2014, and 2016). Again, every major statewide General Election contest was won by a Republican.
Thus we have a total of 13 elections for comparisons sake in our data set since 2000; five with Moore as candidate, and eight without. There are seven for U.S. Senator, four for Governor, and two for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. No so bad a sample for a man who keeps on running but has never been elected to a Non-Judicial public office by Alabama voters in 40 years of trying, on eight separate occasions.
For the sake of brevity (Ha ha), but to make a small point nonetheless, we will leave out Moore’s abortive run for U.S. President from March to November 2011, when he established an Exploratory Committee, and announced his intention to compete in the 2012 Iowa Republican Presidential primary. In the end, he never files papers to get on the ballot anywhere. He did, however, ultimately receive two (yes two) write in ballots in Iowa in that Primary, according to published reports at the time.
Of course, running (or trying to run) for U.S. President is not an Alabama statewide office, so it wouldn’t make the cut here anyway. It is of some interest that very shortly after he decided to forego the opportunity to run for President of the United States, Roy Moore turned his focus back on Alabama and filed for the 2012 Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court election, which he did win that year.
One observation may be made on quick comparison between Roy Moore and non-Roy Moore Primary contests. When Moore is involved there were more primary opponents competing (3 or more in 4/5 contests), compared to non-Moore contests (2 or fewer in 5/8 contests), and there are no unopposed contests when Moore stepped in to run.
This may all just be an insignificant coincidence, or it could be slim evidence that Roy Moore breeds friction among his fellow Alabama Republican office holders, who presumably hold the same basic political philosophy of pro-gun, pro-life, anti-tax, anti-immigrant etc. values that Moore professes. It is unlikely that anyone would confuse rank and file Alabama Republicans as anything but deeply conservative in their political and social views. Alabama conservatives might well take offence at someone (in Alabama) who lectures them, claiming they are insufficiently moral or faithful in their religious practices.
Table 3 provides a combined summary (Roy Moore and Non-Roy Moore) of all 13 statewide elections since 2000 described here in chronological order, along with actual Total Republican Votes for each category, and data for the Democratic Candidate in the General Election.
What to Make of This Statewide Election Information?
Based on the information collected for Tables 1, 2, and 3, we have made some further comparisons to better understand how powerful Roy Moore has been as an actual ballot candidate to convince Alabama voters of his ideas, as opposed to his rhetorical power as a religious stalwart and influence leader travelling elsewhere in the country since the mid 1990’s, when he given the nickname as the Ten Commandments Judge, and began wearing his Ten Commandments lapel pin on a regular basis.
Here are three more tables of Moore related election results and comparisons, sorted by Office and Year, then for the 13 total elections in our data set by Presidential Year and Non-Presidential Year, and finally for the eleven Non-Judicial Elections sorted by Presidential Year and Non-Presidential Year.
In the end, Roy Moore is done running for Judge, as he has reached the mandatory retirement age for Judicial candidates in Alabama (age 70), and has already been removed from the Chief Justice job, not once, but twice, in decisions made by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary, and the Alabama Supreme Court.
Moore is running for U.S. Senate from Alabama, the highest ranking Federal political office Alabama voters can give to any fellow citizen. The occupants of this office should reflect credit on the state of Alabama and the majority of voters who choose them, not to mention being able to cooperate and govern effectively with others to advance Alabama’s economic and political interests: such as long term infrastructure benefits, economic expansion, educational improvement, public safety, sensible environmental control, a fair tax system, and civil rights protections for all law abiding citizens. A high burden to go with a high honor.
Roy Moore’s Election Performance 2000-2017: A Second Level Analysis
The last four tables are offered to provide some insight into Roy Moore’s actual election performance versus other Republican candidates in Alabama who have successfully won election to these high offices. Is Roy Moore a strong candidate for the job, or a weak candidate?
These final tables include the entire 13 election subset so Moore’s performance statewide against all other Republicans since 2000 can be examined. The same information is presented in each but sorted by Year in Chronological Order, by the Best Primary Election Percentage Performance, by the Best Primary Actual Vote Count, and finally by the Best General Election Percentage Performance.
Other rankings and scenarios could be analyzed but these four seemed a logical grouping, and seem to make the points of interest.
Please note that this analysis has nothing to do with any recent allegations of sexual impropriety, since that election die will not be cast until Tuesday by Alabama’s voters.
I have tried my level best to make the tables consistent in format, and accurate in content. From reliable sources, not FAKE NEWS. However, all the data sources used are publicly available, and I have tried to list them above. I have no special insider access to secret election data. Any reader is welcome to extend and or correct the work given here.
A Few Observations on Roy Moore’s Candidate Strength as an Alabama Republican for Major Office
Table 7 shows that Moore won his Republican Primary 3 times out of 5, but his highest percentage was 54.6%, In his three non-judicial primary elections his best performance was 38.9% in the only primary he won with less than 50% (2017). The other two times he finished with 33.6% and 19.3% (Governor 2006, 2010) and never made it out of the primary cycle (finishing 2nd and 4th). He won the only Run Off Election he advanced to with 54.6% (2017) competing one on one.
In the two General Election contests he won for Chief Justice his vote percentages were 54.6% (2000) and 51.8% (2012), decline between elections of 3%. As shown yesterday, in 2012 Roy Moore at 52% for Chief Judge demonstrated the worst performance for any of the five Republican Supreme Court Justices who won election that year (by a margin of more than 46%). Each of his colleagues received at least 98% of the General Election vote against their Democratic opponents. His fellow Justices basically doubled his General Election vote performance in 2012.
Table 8 demonstrates than when all 13 statewide Republican major office elections are ranked by the Primary Election Winner Percentage, Roy Moore came in dead last, in positions 9,10,11,12, and 13 out of 13. The other eight winners never scored below 64% in the primary, and three of them ran unopposed by any other Republicans, so they received an imputed total of 100% in the primary cycle. Moore managed 50.4% and 54.6% in two races. In the other three contests, he never made more than 39% in the primary vote.
Table 9 shows a ranging by total votes in the election primaries., Moore has again achieved the four lowest vote totals in all 13 index elections, each less than 175,000 total votes. Let us substitute his best performance of 262,000 (2017) in the Run Off for the lower primary total, along with his all time actual high primary vote of 282,000 (2012). In six of the 13 index races, the Republican winners all received between 388,000 and 1.2 million votes, anywhere from 100,000 to 1 million more votes than Roy Moore on his best day in a Presidential election year (which significantly increases the total voter turnout), and compared to 2017 which is not only an Off Year (even year with other ballot measures and elections) but a Special Election (the third election cycle in an odd year) for this same office. Sort of an Off-Off-Odd Year, where total turnout is expected to be down, except for the intense media injection that has goosed this race. Who can tell about that brew for turnout?
Table 10 ranks the General Election Winning Percentage for all 13 races, which were all Republican victories. An apples to apples test. Roy Moore’s two General Election wins come in at positions 11 and 12, the bottom of the pack, All the winners above him won at least 57.5% of the vote, and six of them scored more than 60% in the General Election.[Unlucky Number #13. No Republican winner since 2000 has ever gotten less than 50% in the General Election, except in the very weird 2002 Alabama Governors race where the Republican won by 3,000 votes and 49,2%. There was a voting irregularity scandal, and later the defeated Democrat was sent to jail. Alabamians will remember all this much better than I can explain it.]
Conclusion & Summary Before the Final Vote is Cast
Roy Moore is a quixotic seeker of political office in Alabama. He has been running for office for 35 years. He has run five times for statewide office, and won twice, both times for a Judicial Office. He has been defeated twice for statewide office before 2017. He is in the Alabama Special Election Contest in four day as the Republican candidate. He entered the race in April 2017 after he resigned from the Alabama Supreme Court, having been removed from that office in 2016 (permanently suspended) for the second time (the first being in 2003) by a panel made up of senior Alabama State Judges.
He ran for countywide office three times and lost twice (as a Democrat). He was elected as a District 16th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge in Etowah County in 1994 as a Republican, to a post he had been first appointed to in 1992 (as a Democrat).
Comparing his election campaign performance results for statewide office to other Republicans in an index series of all major office elections in Alabama from 2000-2017, the data show:
Moore has won 3/5 primary elections
Moore has lost 2/3 primary elections for non-judicial office
Moore received less than 39% of the Republican primary vote 3/5 times
Moore received 54.6% (2000) and 51.8% (2012) of the General Election votes for the two Judicial statewide elections he has won.
More received the lowest percentage of the General Election vote (by 46%) of any of the five Supreme Court Justices elected in 2012.
Moore received the five lowest primary vote percentages for all 13 statewide races.
Moore never received more than 55% of the primary voter percentage. No one else ever received less than 65%
Moore received less than 39% of the primary percentage vote in 3/5 campaigns.
Moore’s two General Election winning percentage votes rank #11 and #12 out of 13 for all statewide Republican races since 2000.
Eight of the 13 Republican winners received 58% or more of the votes in the General Election, and six received more than 60% of the votes; Moore’s numbers were 52% and 55%.
These actual election results do not reflect credit on Roy Moore’s strength profile as a Republican candidate for statewide high office over decades, compared to his peers and contemporaries. He sits at the bottom of the pile for attracting Alabama’s voters, and his General Election performance has declined over time. He has never won a statewide non-judicial election against an opponent. He has never won a non-judicial statewide race in a non Presidential year like 2017.
Sorry to say it, but Roy Moore is a laggard vote getter for Alabama Republicans to support next week based on his documented election performance for the last 35 years. Very Weak Tea indeed.
Caveat emptor, Alabama
It would be foolish and presumptuous to predict what Alabama voters will do next Tuesday when they listen to their internal voices in the voting booths across the state. No fool I.
However it is plain this is a year of savage and unpredictable changes, in politics and elsewhere in America.
Next week, Alabama voters will do what they think is best for them. Part of making independent considered adult decisions, is that one accepts the future results that come from those actions.
After they pray about it, and cast their votes for either major candidate, or a write in candidate, or vote none of the above, or stay at home, Alabama will own the results and deal with it accordingly in the days to come.
ALABAMA, GO VOTE! GO VOTE, ALABAMA!
MAKE YOURSELVES PROUD WITH YOUR CHOICE.