Politico has a post up about how Doug Jones’ win in Alabama has raised the Democrats’ hopes for the 2018 elections.
Strong turnout and low approval for Donald Trump have Democrats eyeing states where they haven’t been competitive in years.
But was the Alabama election really about Donald Trump? Of course, Trump Derangement Syndrome probably helped increase Democrat turnout, but Roy Moore has his own baggage. First, and this hasn’t been talked about so much in the national coverage, Moore had held state-wide office as a judge on the Alabama Supreme Court. His crackpot behavior as a judge is probably best described as lawless and provided reason enough for some voters to choose not to support him, suppressing Republican turnout.
And then there’s the whole pervalanche issue. Moore is an outlier among Republican. The last time I checked, the Dems will be defending more seats with a scarlet P next year. In some cases, Al Franken for instance, the seat may have been taken over by a woman who can more easily defend it. But allegations of sexual harassment are more commonly directed at Democrats. It’s mostly their problem. BTW, when Moore was chasing teenagers, he was a Democrat.
Finally, the Democrats are weakened by the populist rejection of the Deep State. “I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help” feels like “… and I’m here to run your life for you” to too many voters. To the extent that those voters perceive the Democrats as the party of the Deep State, they’re likely to vote from someone else, someone who promises real restructuring of the system rather than tinkering around the edges to make it “better.”
2018 will be here in 18 days. Fasten your seat belts.