Wednesday, November 29, 2017


It's been a crazy news day, but I want to direct your attention to something that isn't front-page news: another poll in the Roy Moore-Doug Jones Senate race. Like the one I told you about yesterday, this one shows Moore bouncing back, though that's not what I want to focus on.
[An] Alabama Senate poll released this week has Republican Roy Moore leading Democrat Doug Jones as his base appears to be solidifying as the distance grows since the initial allegations against Moore.

Louisiana-based JMC Analytics and Polling released its latest Senate poll on Wednesday morning with Moore holding a 5-point edge on Jones. Moore got 49 percent support to Jones' 44 percent.

The same polling firm had Jones with a 4-point lead earlier this month in a poll conducted immediately after The Washington Post's Nov. 9 story that included allegations that Moore had improper sexual contact with a then 14-year-old girl in the 1970s.
I want to point out the results for two of the poll's questions:

If you can't read this, the questions are "Given the campaign that Doug Jones has run so far, do you think that he is qualified to serve as US Senator?" and "Given the campaign that Roy Moore has run so far, do you think that he is qualified to serve as US Senator?" Alabama is a red, Trump-loving state (he has 52% job approval in this poll), so I'm not surprised that Moore is seen as more qualified (49%) than unqualified (43%).

But look at the Jones numbers: 40% of respondents say he's unqualified. Why? I'm sure a lot of these red-state voters don't like Jones, don't agree with him on many issues, and don't approve of the national Democratic Party -- but does that make him unqualified?

I'm no fan of the Republicans, but I don't think most of their candidates are unqualified to serve -- sure, Trump is, and I'd have said the same thing about Ben Carson if he'd been the 2016 nominee. But Jeb Bush? Marco Rubio? John Kasich? I don't like their politics, but they're qualified. I'd even say Ted Cruz is qualified -- a loony extremist, yes, but a qualified one.

The numbers here might be inflated because Republican poll respondents want to play "I'm rubber, you're glue" in reaction to questions about their hero Roy Moore's fitness to serve. But still: Is this an indication of Republican voters' baseline belief regarding Democrats -- that any Democrat is unfit to serve, just by dint of being a Democrat?

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