By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Republicans never did fully get behind Roy Moore’s campaign for U.S. Senate.
Moore’s supporters are among the most loyal voters in the state; but Moore failed to unite the Republican Party behind his candidacy.
Moore easily cruised over appointed Sen. Luther Strange in the Republican primary runoff. Moore only had 262,641 votes besting Strange’s 218,505; but in this incredibly heavily-publicized special election he would need more than just primary runoff voters and the Moore campaign and the Alabama Republican Party failed to mobilize the kind of get out the vote effort to increase voter turnout.
In 2016, neither political party devoted any attention to Alabama where Democrats conceded the state to then Republican nominee Donald Trump. Even though nobody with any degree of political sophistication believed the Alabama general election in 2016 mattered there was still impressive voter turnout.
If Moore had just gotten 55 percent of Trump’s voters he would be the U.S. senator-elect today instead of Doug Jones. Trump got 1,318,255 votes in Alabama. Moore only got 650,436 vote, which was not even half of Trump’s votes. In 2016 Hillary Clinton was totally outclassed; but she still got 729,547 votes. Jones got some of those Trump voters; but more importantly most of the Clinton voters actually turned out at the polls to vote for Jones.
Jones had 671,151 votes.
The real reason that Moore lost is because 667,819 Republican voters did not show up. Jones is the senator largely because most of the Hillary Clinton cared enough to show up Tuesday and take care of business for Doug Jones.
Moore won only 50.9 percent of the vote totals of Trump in Alabama. Jones on the other hand got almost 92 percent of the number that Clinton got in her thrashing last year.
1,344,406 Alabamians voted in total which is 163,993 votes more than the 1,180,413 that voted in the 2014 gubernatorial election. Not only did Moore not win all the Trump voters; he was easily bested by Gov. Robert Bentley three years ago. In a rather dull general election with even lighter voter turnout Bentley had considerably more votes than Roy Moore got on Tuesday. Bentley had 750,231 voters. Moore won less than 86.7 percent of the voters, who turned out to vote for Robert Bentley. Doug Jones, on the other hand, had 243,364 more votes than former Congressman Parker Griffith got in that election an impressive 56.9 percent increase over what Democrats did three years ago.
The Moore campaign did a really poor job in those vital last two weeks at getting out the vote, Moore wasn’t even in the state the last weekend; versus Jones who was highly energetic down the stretch with numerous GOTV events. There were a lot of unique factors in this race that can’t ever be duplicated again; but the Republican Party is going to have a challenge in addressing how to get more consistent turnout of their voters in future elections or Republican dominance of Alabama government could be coming to an end in that future.