INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
Posted by: Steve51
Date: Jan 26 2018 9:46 AM
Inside the Statehouse
By Steve Flowers
As the 2018 state elections begin let’s take one last look at the 2017 special election to fill the remaining three years of Jeff Sessions’ 6-year term; which, by the way, comes up in 2-years in 2020.
It is assumed by most astute political observers that the winner, Democrat Doug Jones, cannot win election to a full term in 2020, simply because he is a Democrat. I am not ready to write Doug Jones off so quickly. I would contend that Jones would not be a cupcake to take on after 2-3 years on the job. Doug Jones knows what he is doing; he is a seasoned political veteran that will hit the ground running in
Senator Jones will still have very little wiggle room in preparation for 2020. He will organize with Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and all of the very liberal East and West coast senators. He is in the same boat with them on social issues like abortion, immigration, and gay/lesbian and transgender issues. If these issues come to the forefront in the form of Supreme Court nominees, Jones may be caught between a rock and a hard place. If he can avoid these litmus test issues that eliminate the fact that he is a national Democrat from a Ruby red Republican state, he could possibly survive, especially if there is a contentious GOP Primary with 6-9 Republican thoroughbreds wrangling for the opportunity to take Jones out in a 2020 battle royale. This field of proven conservative Republican stalwarts could beat each other up in the primary so badly that the last one standing is beat up and broke. Therefore, they arrive at the dance beat up and broke facing Jones who probably has not faced a primary opponent, and is well financed with national Democratic senatorial money, running as an incumbent. The Doug Jones victory was a perfect storm that cannot be perfectly replicated by Democratic gubernatorial aspirants Walt Maddox or Sue
First of all, the national money will not be available in an Alabama governor’s race, in a year where 33 U.S. Senate races are in play, as it was in last year’s Alabama race where we were the only show in the country and you had a perceived polarizing pariah of a right wing nut and bigot to energize the national liberal base. This overwhelming 6-to-1 financial advantage gave the resources to turn out the Democratic base. In addition, probably never again will any party have the opportunity to run against a candidate with a 70 percent negative approval rating, who has no money and runs a modern day 2017 campaign similar to one run in 1954 out of the back of a pickup truck.
This modern day Democratic campaign brought to the state, due to Moore and it being the only senate race in the country, was run by the brightest Democratic pollsters and media consultants in the world. They energized millennials and the LGBTQ community to vote in record numbers, along with the amazing unparalleled turnout of African American voters.
It was an anomaly and a razor thin victory; however, it shows that it can be done in the “Heart of
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is