It could be a razor-thin margin in the special election to fill an Alabama Senate seat opened up when Jeff Sessions was appointed as Attorney General of the United States. This is not something that one might have suspected under normal circumstances, but the race has been anything but normal.
The Republican candidate, Roy Moore, has been accused of having inappropriate relationships with teenaged girls when he was in his thirties. This has caused the polling in the race to be a lot closer than it otherwise might have. In fact, CNN is reporting that a new poll has Democratic challenger Doug Jones ahead of Roy Moore by three percentage points. This is still within the margin of error, and it flies in the face of some other polls about the race that have been released lately.
The poll showed that the allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore have weighed heavily on his numbers. He might be expected to be well ahead in a race being held in ultra-conservative Alabama, but with all of this news it is not something that is a guarantee at this point.
There have been a lot of signals in this race about how it may go. It could very well be the case that Roy Moore is still able to win the race by a sizable margin. On the other hand, Doug Jones could shock the world and come out as the winner in a state that was not even considered to be in play before the allegations became public.
Democrats are optimistic in general about their electoral fortunes coming up in 2018. They believe that they can ride a wave of disapproval of the Republican President to win more races than they might have otherwise expected to. They are also encouraged by a larger than expected victory margin in the Governor’s race in Virginia. Still, the Senate was not something that they believed that they could win in 2018 due to the challenging political map that they are facing next year. A victory in an unexpected state like Alabama may help bolster hopes for the Democrats of at least keeping the margin close in the Senate.
News continues to trickle out on this story with each passing day. The election is scheduled for December 12th of this year, so expect all eyes to be on the results from this one. Republicans and Democrats will both look at it as a possible bellwether of what may be coming for their electoral fortunes in general coming up.