With voting set to get underway in the controversial Alabama Senate race in about 24 hours, the latest Fox News Poll of likely voters shows a commanding 10-point lead for Democrat Doug Jones. The poll was conducted among likely Alabama voters on Thursday through Sunday using traditional polling techniques, including a list-based probability sample with both landlines and cellphones.
Of course, as with all the “fake polls” that inaccurately predicted Hillary’s sweeping victory last fall, one key variable in determining the accuracy of polling data is predicting who will show up to vote tomorrow…a task which even Fox admits is “impossible to know.”
This race’s uniqueness is significant. It is impossible to know who will show up to vote in a special election to fill a seat in the middle of a term in an off-year. And it’s December, a time when people expect to be going to the shopping mall, not the voting booth.
That said, there are numerous red flags which don’t bode well of Moore’s chances including strong support among Independents for Jones as well as waning support from evangelical Christians.
The small subgroup of independents breaks for Jones by 29 points.
Support for Moore among white evangelical Christians is down 8 points since last month: it was 73 percent in November and stands at 65 percent now.
And his advantage among men has dropped from 12 points last month to just 3 points now. In addition, Republican men (41 percent) are less likely than GOP women (50 percent) or Democratic men (53 percent) to be “extremely” interested in the race.
“Moore might prevail if only the people who typically vote in Alabama elections turn out Tuesday, which is often what happens in special elections,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Republican counterpart Daron Shaw.
“But this appears to be a special, special election with blacks and young voters animated by a caustic Republican candidate and the chance of winning a statewide election with national implications, and at the same time some Republicans and many moderates are turned off by Moore, too.”
All that said, this latest Fox News poll deviates substantially from the Real Clear Politics average which includes a series of polls that show a commanding lead for Moore…the exact opposite of what Fox News found.
Meanwhile, offering up the latest evidence of how critical the establishment parties consider this race to be, CNN pointed out this morning that former President Obama recorded a robocall for Jones over the weekend saying “This one’s serious. You can’t sit it out.”
“This one’s serious,” Obama says in the call. “You can’t sit it out.”
Two Democratic officials familiar with the Alabama race tell CNN that Obama recorded the phone message in recent days, at the very time Trump stepped up his own involvement in the campaign with a recorded message. Obama does not mention Moore by name.
“Doug Jones is a fighter for equality, for progress,” Obama says. “Doug will be our champion for justice. So get out and vote, Alabama.”
Obama’s message to voters — intended to specifically reach black voters whose turnout is critical for Democratic candidate Jones — comes on the eve of a special election that has drawn extraordinary national attention and divided the Republican Party over whether sexual allegations against Moore make him unfit for office.
Of course, only time will tell if this is just another fake poll or if Republicans made a serious blunder in their decision to support a high controversial candidate who was doomed from the moment sexual assault allegations against him first surfaced last month.