sunny.png
Sunday May 26th, 2019 8:15AM
8:00AM ( 15 minutes ago ) Weather Alert

Democrat gets out of the way as Roy Moore scandal churns

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — If you ask Doug Jones, there's no political scandal in Alabama.

Jones, the Democratic Senate candidate whose fortunes have been dramatically boosted by allegations of sexual conduct against his Republican opponent Roy Moore, says he's barely paying attention to what's happening "over there."

"We're going to stay in our lane," Jones told reporters gathered on a Birmingham street corner on Tuesday.

Like Democrats nationwide, Jones has adopted a fierce, keep-your-head-down strategy as scandal reshapes Alabama's Dec. 12 special Senate election and gives Democrats hope — albeit a distant one — of claiming the Senate majority next year. While Moore faces extraordinary pressure from national Republicans to quit the race, Democrats are following one of the oldest rules in the political playbook: When your opponent is imploding, get out of the way.

"There's still a lot of uncertainty with what's going on right now," Jones said Tuesday after a fourth consecutive question about Moore's struggle. "We're going to let that play out over there."

In Alabama and across Washington, Democrats were more than happy to let Republican criticism of Moore drive the day. Republican after Republican has piled on, calling on Moore to quit the race and make room for a write-in candidate. Even Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose appointment to the Trump Cabinet opened the Senate seat at stake, said he has no reason to doubt the allegations that Moore sexually assaulted a teenager decades ago.

In almost any other state, it's the sort of accusation that would likely be enough to propel the Democrat to certain victory. Yet in deep-red Alabama, a state that hasn't sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate in a quarter century, a final-month bombshell has only ensured that the race will be close.

Jones' path to victory is not easy, says Republican pollster Chris Wilson.

"Democrats have to turn out at record numbers, which you don't often see in Alabama because there's never any belief that the Democrat can win," Wilson said. "Even heightened Democratic turnout is probably not enough. You need to have Republicans vote for the Democrat."

Democrats need to focus on college-educated Republicans in the suburbs around Montgomery, Birmingham and Mobile, Wilson said, in addition to maximizing African-American turnout. Democrats are also crossing their fingers that many Republicans, disgusted with Moore, simply sit out the election.

Jones' team has long recognized the need to win over Republicans. He has touted his working-class upbringing and his family's ties to Birmingham's decimated steel industry. He hammers away on "kitchen-table" issues, trying to counter Trump's economic populism.

On Tuesday, he released a new campaign ad highlighting his appeal in the other party without directly mentioning Moore's latest challenges.

"I'm a Republican, but Roy Moore, no way," says one man in the ad. A woman adds, "Don't decency and integrity matter anymore?"

Jones, a former U.S. attorney under President Bill Clinton, had little interest in reminding Alabama voters of his party affiliation. He cast himself as "an independent voice" on Tuesday. And he refused to answer a question about whether he would support Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as majority leader if his party reclaimed the Senate majority next year.

Alabama's Senate contest does have significant national implications, however.

A Jones victory would narrow GOP control of the Senate to 51-49 and, for the first time, open a plausible path for Democrats to reclaim the chamber in next year's midterm elections. The odds are stacked against Democrats, who must defending 10 seats in states carried by Trump last year. The only Republican-held seats considered vulnerable to changing hands are Arizona and Nevada.

A Jones win would allow Democrats, if they were to run the table next year, to take back the Senate.

Just don't ask Democrats in Washington if their party will benefit from Moore's struggles.

"It's an Alabama race run from, by, and for Alabama," charged Schumer when asked what Washington Democrats are doing to help Jones.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat facing his own tough re-election in a red, or conservative, state, had little interest in nationalizing the race either: "He's probably a proud Alabama Democrat and he sure as hell is not going to be a Washington Democrat." Manchin added, "He'll run his own race down there."

National Democrats are quietly helping, however.

Outside groups, including the Senate Democrats' campaign arm and the unaffiliated organization, Indivisible, have had paid staff on the ground to help drive voter turnout. National Democrats also have a joint fundraising committee with Jones to help him raise money. The Jones campaign had a 2-to-1 cash advantage over Moore at the end of September, weeks before the scandal, according to federal filings.

Jones insists the special election will be decided by real issues like jobs and the economy.

"This is the way I see it — the way I've always seen it," he said. "Nothing in the last four of five days has changed that."

___

Taylor reported from Washington.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Senate Election News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Zimbabwe calm as Mugabe is urged to step down peacefully
Zimbabwe calm as Mugabe is urged to step down peacefully; troops remain in streets
7:04AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Trump exhorts UCLA trio to thank Xi for release in China
President Donald Trump is exhorting three suspended UCLA basketball players to thank Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) for their freedom following a shoplifting incident
6:57AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Cambodia's top court orders opposition party dissolved
Cambodia's Supreme Court has ordered the country's main opposition party be dissolved, in one of the biggest blows yet to democratic aspirations in the Southeast Asian state
6:54AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
GOP muscling tax bill through House; hits senator roadblock
Republicans are muscling their massive tax bill through the House, with GOP leaders exuding confidence they have the votes. But the tax overhaul hit a roadblock Wednesday as Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin became the first GOP senator to say he opposes it.
3:50AM ( 3 hours ago )
US opposes Nazi speech, but will vote no at UN to banning it
State Department officials say the U.S. this week plans to vote against a yearly U.N. resolution that condemns the glorification of Nazism
3:43AM ( 3 hours ago )
Trump EPA nominee opposed by GOP senators from NC
North Carolina's two Republican senators say they oppose President Donald Trump's pick to oversee chemical safety at the Environmental Protection Agency, putting his nomination at serious risk.
3:35AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Silence from Trump as Moore-Alabama storm grows louder
President Donald Trump kept resolutely quiet and out of the fight Wednesday as national Republicans called ever more intensely for Roy Moore to abandon his Alabama campaign for the U.S. Senate
12:51AM ( 6 hours ago )
Fox News' Hannity decides not to pass judgment on Roy Moore
Fox News' Sean Hannity, after giving Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore a 24-hour deadline to rebut accusations of assault and child molestation, says it's not up to him to decide
11:11PM ( 8 hours ago )
10 Things to Know for Thursday
Among 10 Things to Know: Military appears to have ended Robert Mugabe's 37-year reign in Zimbabwe; Trump keeps mum on Senate candidate Roy Moore; rare painting by Leonardo da Vinci sells for record $450 million.
11:05PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: Former Zimbabwe VP calls for fair elections
The Latest: Former Zimbabwe VP calls for fair elections after 'transitional arrangement'
6:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe seemed invincible but era ends
Robert Mugabe seemed untouchable for most of his long rule as he crushed dissent or sidelined opponents, and now the apparent end of his era is launching Zimbabwe into the unknown
4:55AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Moore says he never dated 'underage girls'
Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore tells Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity he never dated "underage girls" but won't be commenting further
7:24PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Moore trails in poll by Senate GOP campaign arm
Republican Roy Moore is trailing his Democratic opponent in polling conducted by the Senate GOP's campaign arm, even though Alabama hasn't elected a Democratic senator in a quarter-century
3:47PM ( 15 hours ago )
The Latest: Shelby will write in someone other than Moore
Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby says he will write in the name of a Republican who is not Roy Moore in next month's special election
2:07PM ( 17 hours ago )
The Latest: Alabama Republicans to meet to discuss Roy Moore
The steering committee of the Alabama Republican Party is expected to meet to discuss how to respond to the scandal enveloping Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore
2:02PM ( 17 hours ago )
General Senate Election News
Zimbabwe calm as Mugabe is urged to step down peacefully
Zimbabwe calm as Mugabe is urged to step down peacefully; troops remain in streets
7:04AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Trump exhorts UCLA trio to thank Xi for release in China
President Donald Trump is exhorting three suspended UCLA basketball players to thank Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) for their freedom following a shoplifting incident
6:57AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Cambodia's top court orders opposition party dissolved
Cambodia's Supreme Court has ordered the country's main opposition party be dissolved, in one of the biggest blows yet to democratic aspirations in the Southeast Asian state
6:54AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Peru qualifies for first World Cup since 1982 by beating NZ
Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 to win a two-leg playoff and earn the 32nd and last spot in the World Cup field in Russia
6:51AM ( 40 minutes ago )
Miss Golden Globe honor renamed Golden Globe Ambassador
The group behind the Golden Globe awards says its Miss Golden Globe honoree will now be known as the Golden Globe Ambassador
6:51AM ( 41 minutes ago )