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Today in America’s Healthy Political Culture

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Senator Roy Moore appears more likely than not to happen:

As recently as Friday night, when Donald Trump spoke for 85 minutes at a rally for Strange in Huntsville, public polling was showing Strange finally beginning to chip away at the big lead Moore built immediately after finishing first in the August 15 first round, while private polling commissioned by Strange’s backers suggesting a close race. But two public polls taken after this event have probably created some panic in Strange’s camp. A Trafalgar Group survey of more than a thousand likely primary voters showed Moore up by a huge 57/41 margin (with leaners counted). And a Cygnal/L2 poll of nearly a thousand likely voters show Moore up by a slightly smaller margin—52/41—but leading in nearly every voter demographic, with little sign that Trump’s campaigning had made any difference.

Aside from the possibility that Trump’s endorsement (and some Monday campaigning by Vice President Mike Pence) are slowly sinking in, Strange’s chances for a win may depend on a stronger-than-expected turnout generated by all the national attention and by the $15 million or so ($9 million alone from Mitch McConnell’s PAC, and another million from the NRA’s PAC) spent on the incumbent’s campaign, which is real money for Alabama. Turnout in the August primary was, after all, only 18 percent. Alabama’s Secretary of State estimates runoff turnout will be even lower, at 15 percent. If so, that almost certainly helps Moore with his intensely loyal Christian Right following. There won’t be any late upsets created by absentee ballots unless it’s crazy close: Alabama has no in-person early voting and requires excuses for absentee voting. It’s all about Election Day.

The punchline being that I can’t say he’d be a worse senator than, say, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

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