tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 12, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
this has been an extraordinarily exciting u.s. senate race. alabama voters deciding whether to elect a scandal tainted republican or the state's first democratic senator in decades. let's take a look. the polls are now closed. all right. we have a key race alert. obviously too early to call right now in alabama. the doug jones campaign and the roy moore campaign, they will start getting the votes, all of us will start getting the votes very, very soon. right now, based on what we know, clearly too early to call. anderson? >> yeah, wolf, thanks very much. you're watching a special edition of "a" c 360. now that the polls have closed, there is new information we can bring you. i want to go to david chalian. what are you seeing? >> anderson, the first thing we're looking at is how the partisans are breaking down. it won't surprise you overwhelmingly democrats are with jones. take a look. among democratic voters in alabama today, 98% go with jones, 2% go with moore.
what's key here is that jones number is higher than barack obama was getting among democrats in the last two presidential elections he was in in alabama. take a look at how republicans are splitting. you again see obviously moore wins the lion share of them, 91%, but that is slightly underperforming by a few points of what romney did, what mccain did in presidential elections. moore underperforming the republicans. which republicans seem to be peeling away we are no surprise but significant, these moderate republican voters that we've been talking about in the suburbs. take a look about moderate republicans, 80% of them are going for moore, 19% of them are going for jones. in 2012, our last exit poll, romney was winning 99% of moderate republicans to barack obama's 1%. this is a significant moment for jones that he's digging into some of the republican coalition. and then, of course, we've been talking about all night, race as a factor.
the latest exit polls that have just been redistributed to us still show the african-american turnout at 30%. 30% of the electorate. that is higher than we've seen in the previous two presidential elections that we have data for, '08 and '12 when there was an african-american running for president at the top of the ticket. >> david chalian, thanks very much. let's go now to our panel. african-american turnout critical. >> very critical. i mean -- >> for doug jones. >> he would not be in this race if it were not for a high african-american turnout, and as david chalian was saying, we're looking here, this is higher than barack obama got. that's a good sign for him. you know, the problem he has is he doesn't get evangelicals. david is going to talk about some white collar graduates that he's not getting. and, you know, the issues that matter to people in this state, the issues of abortion, for
example, he's on the wrong side. and you cannot underestimate that in a state like alabama, when -- and also the interesting thing that i was looking at is trump's approval and disapproval in alabama, it's a tie, which is kind of stunning given the fact that he won the state by 2 to 1. >> david axelrod? >> that is a big question. college educated whites, they are an important component that jones needs to win this race in these exit poll numbers, he is underperforming -- significantly underperforming what he would need. not even getting 30% of the overall white vote under 40% of college educated whites. if that holds up, and these are exit polls, they're not votes, if that holds up it may be that even the 30% turnout among african-americans won't be enough for him to win this race. >> we've seen that in previous races. if you look at 2014, for instance, the contest in louisiana with mary landrieu,
african-americans a big share of that vote. she got creamed among white voters and that's why she ended up losing. the same case in north carolina. african-americans a big share of that vote, but just not able to compete. the democrat there kay hagan with white voters. that is really the story of the south in general. and especially in a state like alabama, which is so racially polarized, right? you've got 70% of voters that are white, about 30% or so that are black. 2.3 million are active white voters. about 850,000 are active black voters. so, i mean, the numbers there i think it's just really hard for somebody like doug jones to compete. >> one thing i just want to mention is that the late breakers, people who decided in the last ten days, they are going overwhelmingly for moore in this exit poll, as are voters who decided in december. so some of that is the impact of the story receding. some of it may be the visit of
the president in the last hours of the campaign. >> let's turn over to this side. bakari sellers, rick santorum, jen psaki. you were down there campaigning for doug jones? >> i was down there, which ironically enough was the 62nd anniversary of rosa parks in the sit-in. people saying about the black vote in the south, in alabama particularly, being somewhat dom style or docile just wasn't the case. >> you were seeing enthusiasm -- >> and to think that voters in alabama, you're talking about voters, many of which are just one generation away from seeing selma, one generation away from hearing and seeing about rosa parks and the montgomery bus boycott or the tuskegee airmen were going to sit at home on such an important day when they knew the cost that was paid just to get the right to vote i thought was intellectually dishonest and lazy. we knew those people were coming out. the question is whether or not he will get the number of
college educated white voters he needs, whi needs, college educated white women like he needs. particularly we need to look at jefferson county, which is birmingham and we also need to look at huntsville. those are the two most important areas. i was in huntsville, in birmingham, african-american voters are excited. if he's able to get the numbers he needs in those two counties, in jefferson county the location where huntsville is, it's going to be an extremely lock day. >> roy moore was not on the campaign trail since last tuesday. do you think that was wise? do you think it shows confident on moore campaign part or they just want to keep him out of making any mistakes? >> yeah, i mean been he's the flash point in the campaign and i'm not too sure there is anything he could have said or done or exposing himself to the media would be a positive thing for the campaign, so i think they probably did as good a job to make him not the issue in the campaign. i moean, he has been the issue n the campaign, but they're going to win this race if they win tonight because they're
appealing to be need to hold the senate, all of these issues that moore really doesn't represent. so i think that was a very smart move. and, you know, i'm concerned about the 30% african-american turnout, but i think that may be driven more by a lot of whites staying home because they just didn't feel like they wanted to vote as opposed to maybe amped up turnout on the other side. so i think what i was talking to folks in alabama in the last 24 hours, i think there was a feeling that moore was going to win and that that actually was hurting him a little bit. because you have a lot of voters there who weren't particularly excited about voting for him and thought, well, he's going to win, i can stay home and i don't have to be part of voting for someone who i don't feel good about voting for. >> jen? >> i think the african-american turnout numbers are very good signs, but i think people should remember that barack obama had 28% and he still lost the state by more than 10 points. so these numbers we're talking about like white working class voters, white voters, a lot of doug jones' ad money was targeted towards conservative
women, republican women. did that work or didn't it work? we really don't know at this point but he needs to get a huge chunk of those voters to get across the finish line. >> amanda, i want to hear from you quickly. >> what makes this race exciting we get a preview of what's going to happen in 2018 and 2020. ro roy moore is running the trump playbook. and also denying sexual allegations and the very exact same way that donald trump has in the past and continues to do so today. but also in the democratic side, you see the democrats still struggle to gain their footing in the post-obama world. they're trying their best to capitalize on anger and resentment by women and minorities. that is a dynamic that is not going to change tonight, in 2018 or 2020. that will hold. >> let's check in with david chalian. again, you're getting some more numbers. >> anderson, you guys were just talk talking about with david axelrod, the college ed waited white voters in alabama. take a look at how they split
today. this is really interesting. moore wins 59% of them. jones is winning 37%. overall they make up 29% of the electorate. so that is a 22-point advantage for moore, but i just want to explain that mitt romney won this group in 2012 by 59 points. so now that 59 point republican advantage among white college educated voters in alabama has gone to a 22% advantage. then when you look at white voters without a college degree, a bigger share, 36% of the electorate, you see that moore wins 78% of them to jones '20% of them. so obviously that is a 58 margin, a healthy margin there. again, underperforming romney with this group who won them against obama by 75 points in 2012. >> fascinating. david chalian, thanks. bakari, i'm wondering when you were there, the controversial statements that roy moore has made about muslims, about guy people, about, well -- >> everybody. >> a lot of different groups. you know, the tenth amendment, amendments after the tenth amendment, getting rid of some
of them. did those motivate people or was it issues in particular? and i guess on the flip side, for moore supporters, is it ignoring those controversial statements and it's the core issues of abortion and, you know, keeping the republican majority and things like that? >> i think there were two things. the first is that if you take away -- this is hard to do, but if you take away the cases of sexual harassment, pedophilia, whatever you want to call it, sexual assault, if you take those away, there are many people, especially those in alabama who know roy moore who still believe roy moore is a really bad candidate because of the things he said, because of the xenophobia, because of the bigotry, because of the homophobia. that was exemplified earlier today when his spokesperson was on the air and said that homosexuality should be illegalized. so, i mean, set that aside, but there is also a sense of individuals who just knew history. and there are a lot of us who put roy moore in the same category that we put a george
wallace, that you put a bull conner. there is this theory, many of us want to aspire to the belief that we've made progress in this country. roy moore is so emblematic of a past that we don't want to go back to. you saw groups like the ncaa, yncaa, -- naacp. you saw the black church and different sororities and fraternities, historically black colleges, the normal traditions of the african-american community that are reenergized because we understand the value of this race. this race is more than just doug jones and roy moore, and, yes, we may lose this race tonight, that can happen, but the reason that democrats lose this race tonight would not be because of the african-american vote. we can guarantee you that. >> senator santorum, in the exit polls i think it was 49% say that roy moore shares their values. >> which is remarkably low for alabama. i mean, because alabama is a very conservative state. so the idea that he -- obviously some of the points that bakari made, people who are
conservatives who would otherwise agree with a lot of the policy prescriptions he's laid out on abortion and other things don't agree with him. there is no question that roy moore was a weak candidate when it came to this beyond issues of the sexual harassment charges. but for the sexual harassment charges, he would have still won alabama in a very comfortable margin. >> here's what's interesting to me, of those people who said the charges are probably true, 15% of them still voted for roy moore. according to these polls. and that means that there is a lot of other stuff either they didn't want to vote for jones because they don't want to vote for a democrat or there is a litmus test on abortion, or, you know, they're conservative and trump made a difference, but that was remarkable to me. >> getting a key race alert. let's go to wolf. >> anderson, thanks very much. let's check out, very, very early. only a few hundred votes are in, but you can see doug jones has a
lead. 60%, almost 40% for roy moore. 149 votes ahead. this is extremely, extremely early. there are going to be hundreds of thousands of votes before this night is over with. john, very early. extremely early. i don't want people to draw any wrong conclusions. we can't get anything out of this. >> everything we're getting so far is absentee ballots that are counted before the polls closed and they begin to release those numbers on a county by county basis. we're going to be in for a long count. when you see the pace picking up, we'll have a better sense. if you look at the map right now, it doesn't tell you much at all. roy moore is going to win down here in coffey count they. this is where he in statewide elections has won, including close races, he wins it up here among rural trump evangelical voters. we'll keep an eye on this. this tells us nothing. that's what he needs in terms of a margin. up around 70% in counties like this, that would be proof in the number numbers hold up.
two things we're going to look at, one the margins and two, the raw numbers. is the republican base coming out we are are trump voters coming out? are evangelicals coming out? on the flip side, where doug jones is winning. unlikely he's going to end with 95% in this particular county. very early votes. not just the margins, but the turnout, is democratic intensity, more democrats coming out higher than republican intensity. just one last thing we'll look at, i do think this number if the african-american turnout is as high as we think and if doug jones can do moderately well, make inroads in the suburbs like david chalian was just talking about, this number could, emphasis on could, could become significant. a lot of democrats think it would be hard to get doug jones over 50%, but if you can win with 47% or 48% because there is a higher number of write-in candidates, that could become part of the factor. as we start to watch the votes come in, this is going to be at least a couple of hours as we count them in.
don't just watch the margins here. see if this number, the percentage starts to grow as a piece of the electorate, if the finish line, wolf, victory could be 47, 48, 49%. >> john, let me give our viewers a little update. once again, very, very early. only about 1,000 votes counted so far. doug jones, he's got a little advantage. right now, 63%. 35% for the republican roy moore. he's ahead by 263 votes, but, remember, this is extremely, extremely early. it's way too early to call in alabama. there is a lot of suspense is in the senate election as we wait for more votes to come in. stay with us.
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extremely early in this contest. it's going to be an exciting night, john, by all accounts. but once again, very early in this contest. >> right. the key is -- the most key number right now is down here, 0% of the vote. we're mostly getting absentee ballots as they come in around the state. two campaign headquarters getting call from precincts. these numbers coming into us and reporting by the secretary of state. it appears to be a very close race. they will grasp each one of these numbers. for example, if you're in the moore campaign, you know up in winston county, not a lot of people here, but he needs big margins. these are your evangelical voters, conservative voters. roy moore has to win this big. let's go back in time to the last time he won statewide in that county, he got 79%. we come back to where we are now, he's getting just shy of 60% he has to get those numbers up. we're only at 5% so make no judgements based on it that. matching them up to past races,
running them through their own model. if you're in the jones campaign, the fact that mobile county is early blue, that's encouraging. this if roy moore is going to win, he wants this to be red at the end of the night. if it stays blue, again, we're at 1%, if it stays like that, doug jones is in a very competitive place to be the next senator from the state of alabama. at 1%, you're just encouraged. number one, it's a swing county -- for a democrat to be competitive, they need to change the math here and be like that. number one. number two, again, this is where the president targeted. he was down here in pensacola, didn't cross into alabama, but his message was delivered to republicans in this area. you see blue filling in here in clark county. again, very early results. just 3% of the vote in this one particular county. on what is going to be a tense night and a long count, people are sitting in these campaign offices saying, okay, roy moore needs this to be red, doug jones needs this to be blue, this is one of the contested places, if it stays blue, jones is in play.
the tensions mount as the early numbers start to come in. >> compared to the last time he ran, roy moore, is the blue filling in where it's supposed to be blue and the red where it's supposed to be red? significant changes so far early in the contest. >> david chalian was making this point earlier. let's go back to the history first. 2016, donald trump wins. let's go back to 2012, mitt romney wins and wins comfortably. remember, 61 to 38 in the presidential race. this is the last time roy moore was on the ballot running for chief justice. 52%. dramatically underperforming the republican presidential candidate in his own state. and so what do you have here? you have the democratic candidate winning across here. this is why i circled that earlier. the democratic candidate beating -- losing the race by 3 1/2, 4 points but beating roy moore down here and up here. see the red up here? i'm going to use a different color to tell the distinction. the red is where roy moore needs to run it up. this is the 2012 race that was very competitive. roy moore eking out a victory
here. let's come back here to where we are right now. as you watch the map fill in, again, filling the way roy moore want it is here and filling in the way doug jones want it is here. the way roy moore want it is here. the biggest question for doug jones, i'm going to take this away so it's not confusing. the biggest question is when jefferson county comes in, birmingham needs to run it up. not just win, but run it up. that needs to be a route for doug jones. we'll look here add at madison county. if it's red, roy moore wins, if it's blue at the end of the night, doug jones is in play. >> birmingham is about 13% of the population right there. >> this is a giant piece. number one, in urban birmingham, central birmingham, that is your democratic base, bakari was talking about this earlier tonight. it is key that doug jones not only win the african-american vote, the democratic base, but, again, not just the percentages, the math. you need to see the democratic intensity here. blue state, leaning blue state,
can democrats come out with such intensity in a red state? this will be absolutely critical here. if doug jones gets what he wants, shelby county and counties like it come into play, the suburbs. these are where you find your moderate republicans, and if you go back to the run-off here, not to get too technical, but roy moore won the run-off over luther strange, the interim senator. look where he didn't do well. the light orange is luther strange. these are places where you do have more moderate. it's alabama, they're conservatives, but more moderate suburban republicans who aren't donald trump's best voters and historically in alabama have not been roy moore's best voters. so as we get back into the official count for tonight up here, urban areas absolutely critical for doug jones first. then we get into the suburbs, and then the other question is when you see these rural areas filling in red, is it not just the margins but is that -- you need that number to come up. are they coming out to vote or are some rural evangelicals,
trump more republicans staying home? >> give us 10678 researches. a little comparison to birmingham. let's go back to birmingham, that county almost 13, almost 14% of the electorate in alabama. how did hillary clinton, for example, do in the last presidential contest there. election here obviously.tial - you see the same dynamic. this is what's called the black belt and it's called that for the top soil, deep, black, rich agricultural top soil. it is also a democratic area and where you have a significant african-american population. the base, any stepping stone for any democrat to be competitive has to be here. 14% of the population. birmingham, the suburbs. hillary clinton, 52%. that's a good margin, but it's not good enough. if you go back, you see this throughout. let's go back to the 2012 presidential election. obama 53% here. that is because don't think of it just as birmingham central city, it's because of the suburbs. the democrats win in the city and the suburbs around is where the republicans make their inroads and keep the numbers closer and then the republicans get their margin of victory
elsewhere in the state, specially when they sweep these smaller rural counties. this will be the first place we watch tonight. doug jones essentially has to outperform barack obama and hillary clinton to put this into play. the combination of young voters, african-american voters and then reaching into the suburbs. >> so in jefferson county, which includes birmingham, he's going to have to do a lot better than 52% in order to carry the rest of the state, right? >> yes. and because there are so many more republicans than democrats in modern day alabama, it's not just doing better than the 50%, it's -- we're going to look a lot more at the hard numbers tonight. the math. to see if the key to this is for the democrats to over turnout, overperform. you'd have to find examples for doug jones. that gets him into play. to see if he can win, you have to see if there is evidence in the more rural areas of the state that some republicans are staying home or these write-in numbers grow. >> 1% of the vote is in. doug jones has a lead, 79% to
29%. still very, very early. coming up, what women president trump do if roy moore wins? we're getting details on that was we stand by for votes out of alabama. ♪ a wealth of information. a wealth of perspective. ♪ a wealth of opportunities. that's the clarity you get from fidelity wealth management. straightforward advice, tailored recommendations, tax-efficient investing strategies, and a dedicated advisor to help you grow and protect your wealth. fidelity wealth management. to help you grow and protect your wealth. directv has been rated number one in customer satisfaction over cable for 17 years running. but some people still like cable.
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so you can get where you've always been headed... sooner. see how much you can save with sofi. the leader in student loan refinancing. all right. we've got another key race alert. let's take a look. again, very early, 1 of the vote has now been counted. doug jones, the diplomat, he maintains his lead over roy moore, the republican. 64% to 35.5%. he's up by almost 3,000 votes. once again, though, very, very early in this con2e69. let's go of to jeff zeleny at the white house. jeff, we know the president is watching the results come in. >> reporter: we do indeed, wolf. i'm told the president is in the residence of the white house watching the results come in and watching this alabama race very carefully. over the last three weeks ago so he has gradually distanced himself from the republican
leaders up on capitol hill who have been sharply critical of roy moore. well, the question is what happens if he wins, if he'll, you know, what the president will do then. i am told that the president's support for moore offers a window into this thinking. it's really been somewhat of a kra shen doe if you will. he initially was tepid in his support. but i am told by a republican official close to this white house the president does not plan to support any kind of talk of censure if he comes or any type of resistance. his message will be the people of alabama have spoken. now, the interesting question will be if jones wins, will that still be the president's message, of course? wolf, he has all on the line here. the president is all-in on this because he was told that he believes that moore can win. and he can, of course, but this would be the biggest defeat for the president so far of any race he's become involved in. of course way too early for that, but if moore comes, of course, the president, look for him to support him. wolf? >> way too early.
only 1% of the vote counted. jeff zeleny, thanks very much. anderson over to you. >> wolf, thanks very much. amanda, you know capitol hill well. if the congress is not supporting an investigation or censure or anything, is that a done deal? >> of course the president doesn't want an investigation into past sexual allegations against roy moore because if republicans investigate that on behalf of roy moore, how can they also say we will never look into any accusations against donald trump? that is just a bind. of course he wants it to go nowhere. that said, republicans are on record saying they would look into it but i felt they were backing off of that in the last few days saying, oh, maybe we won't give him a committee assignment. and lindsey graham saying this gets kind of tricky when it didn't happen when he was a u.s. senator. they've been trying to find way as round that. now that donald trump is drawing a line into the sand saying don't look into it, he's once again put the republican party into a box. >> i disagree. the senate is not going to look into as an ethics matter what
the president did because the president isn't a senator. they're going to look into what a senator did i have no doubt in roy moore wins tonight there will be an ethics investigation. >> really? even if the president support it is? >> it doesn't matter whether the president support it is or not. the president is not a member of the senate. the president isn't up for election in 2018 and a bunch of senators and house members are and they're the ones nervous about having to wear roy moore as an anchor around their neck. i was a senator, i would want that investigation, i would want to see what the evidence is, i'd want to feel comfortable with it. i've said it throughout the process, you're either going to get a vindicated roy moore or a new senator from alabama. >> but if there is an investigation and they do find wrongdoing, what happens then? >> i think there will be tremendous pressure for him to resign. if he doesn't do it, i think they will expel him. >> see, because what i foresee is that the republican caucus would be very split, particularly if the president of the united states was on the other side of it. i would just point out that in
this particular primary, among this electorate, mitch mcconnell had an approval rating of 14 -- and the republican party was held in no higher esteem than the democratic party. this was an anti-establishment vote in alabama and there are other places where there are as well, where your former colleagues feel that pressure. i think it is -- i mean, i appreciate what you're saying and i think that senator mcconnell's intend is probably to do what you suggest, but, boy, i'll tell you, i think it's going to be a rocky scholes to navigate. >> let me just raise this question because i was talking to somebody today who has done a lot of legal work with the ethics committee in the senate, and the question that he asks is would the ethics committee be able to exercise its authority on a matter in which the allegations were known when people went to the polls? not something that happened after they voted for their senator but something that happened and they knew about it and they voted for him anyway.
i think that complicates things. >> i think a lot of people in alabama voted for roy moore with the expectation that the senate would do its job. i heard that over and over again from people in alabama, that, yeah, we're concerned about it, but we trust the senate will look into this. now i'm not saying -- there were a lot of strong roy moore supporters. i'm not talking about them. i'm talking about the votes he needed to win this election. a lot of those votes -- >> so you actually heard that from people who said, look, i'm going to vote for him but i'm hoping the senate -- >> either clean it up and get a vindicated roy moore or we'll have a roy moore that will be replaced. >> i mean, first of all, the race is nowhere near over. and we do believe that doug jones has a legitimate chance to win this race. >> sure he does. >> but my only point is as a democrat, do you know how good to feels right now to actually have the better person running for office? like, this isn't even a competition. >> i know what you're saying. >> this is not even a question. you know, for me, it's -- the travesty is that you've had a
lot of people that put the policy and the party over the moral fabric of this country, and as democrats we're sitting back -- and we can -- i know you want to go down a rabbit hole with bill clinton and everybody else. i'm going to talk about roy moore and doug jones. the fact of the matter is, when you look at this race, there hasn't been a clearer dichotomy of two candidates we've seen in recent history. to be polite tonight, racist tendencies versus someone who prosecuted the bombers of the 16th street baptist church. you have someone who gave justice to little girls versus someone who preyed on them. there is no clearer contrast than what we're talking about. when we're talking about what would happen to roy moore in the united states senate with all of his problems. let's give democrats the benefit of being able to breathe -- if we win, we have have joy on the heels. if we lose, we will have lost with a great horse. >> doesn't it concern you as a democrat, the fact that you can face a candidate with all of these problems and you're still not going to win this race outright? will you be willing to --
willing to moderate their positions on things like abortion. right now, the democratic party has gotten radical, extreme on this and it has made the idea of voting for a democrat a complete nonstarter for all republicans. that is why they will vote for someone like roy moore. >> if he lose this race, there are a couple of things. we're in the fifth most conservative state in the union. we're in alabama. that's first. second, i love the high ground that republicans are taking on the issue of abortion because the most amazing thing is all of a sudden republicans care about babies when they're in the womb, but they don't care about teenagers because they vote for roy moore? >> i've been very vocal against roy moore. >> the hypocrisy is really knee-deep right now. >> are you willing to give something to republican voters? >> well, first of all, i think this is not all democrats or all of the democratic party. there is a division within the democratic party and there are litmus tests that shouldn't be there because we are never going to win if we do that. >> i agree with that. amen. >> if doug jones wins, just like we learned from virginia, we
need candidates that fit the district. doug jones is on the wrong side of some issues that republican voters would like him to be on, however, he is more conservative than what most progressive democrats would like to see in the state. i will say, you are taking the very high moral high ground, which i think is the right thing and i agree with everything you said, but this is still tomorrow morning when democrats wake up, if roy moore wins, democrats are still going to be happy. >> it's interesting, it seems like democratic groups from outside of alabama did make an effort, a big effort kind of behind the scenes over the last couple of weeks in alabama, pumping in money, sending in people on the ground, even though doug jones sort of was separating himself from the national democrats. >> that's been a tricky line that jones has had to walk because being the -- for all the reasons that you see, the worst thing for doug jones was to have this race nationalized. the reason the president was down there was to nationalize the race. you saw the late breakers moving away from jones because the truth of the matter is, if jones
wins tonight, that very tenuous margin in the senate becomes more tenuous. and that is something mitch mcconnell doesn't want, which is why he's sort of tolerated moore. he wants to keep that seat in republican hands. perhaps they expel moore. but then you have a republican governor appoint his replacement. the other alternative is to have doug jones, who is a democrat, and you have to live with that until 2020. but, yes, democrats have been trying to help doug jones but do it in such a way as not to draw attention to this -- >> right. >> as a national race. >> i would say they've been doing that long before the allegations came out. that was after the primary win. part of the argument that the republican establishment was making before the allegations. remember, mitch mcconnell stood in the rose garden with the president of the united states explaining why he thought it was a terrible thing moore was the nominee in this race because of the history of todd aiken and other republican nominees out of
the mainstream for the general electorate. democrats, again, a tricky situation, you're right, because he doesn't want to be seen as the democrat national brand down in alabama, but the moment moore won that primary, they went in. remember, anderson, there was a fox news poll, again, a month before the allegations that had this race tied. moore is a particularly problematic candidate prior to the allegations and the democrats seized that opportunity early. >> but they had to be so carol. i mean, you had barack obama doing a robocall at the last minute. joe biden went in in october i believe and you had john lewis and cory booker down there, but they were tip toeing because they didn't want to alienate those suburban republican women who might cross over. they didn't want to alienate any potential moderate republicans. >> when he went down there, were you wearing a disguise? >> i drove in in the cover of darkness. briefly, the way it's done is you take a candidate like doug jones who knows the black
community and knows the base, but they don't know he's talking about issues that affect alabamans. he's talking about rural hospitals, schools. >> we've got to take a break. we're following every vote as this critical senate rate is decided. standing by for results. we'll be back in just a moment. together, y great things come in twos. right now when you buy any of this season's hot new samsung galaxy phones, you get a second one free to gift. that's one samsung for you. one to give. t-mobile. holiday twogether.
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all right. work got anotherco race alert. more votes are coming in. 2% of the vote is actually in and doug jones, the democrat, maintaining an impressive lead over roy moore. once again, very, very early in the contest. 55.5% for doug jones, 43.5% for roy moore. he's up by 3500 votes right now. let's go over to john king over at the magic wall. based on the votes we're seeing, where they're coming in from, can we draw any significant conclusions or way too early? >> i wouldn't say significant conclusions, but if you're a
democrat, especially sitting in doug jones headquarters, watching the map fill in and starting to get hopeful. starting to get hopeful. let me add the big important caveats, 3% of the vote in. don't jump to conclusionings. this is a ruby red state. don't jump to conclusions. if you look the at results coming in so far, we talked earlier, most important place for doug jones, the first piece of a foundation to an improbable democratic win in alabama is jefferson county. he's getting close to 90% of the vote right now. again, it's only 1%. these are largely absentee ballots. let's be careful. if you're just sitting around saying in the very early results are we doing what we need to do? the answer in jefferson county is yes plus a little. let's move up here to the huntsville area. this is madison county, again 1%. strap in. we're going to be here for awhile. are we in play? if you're doug jones you're looking at those numbers and saying, okay, that's the way we
needed to start the night. one more i want to get to is tuscaloosa, 23% to 75%. if it ends up that way at the end of the night, doug jones is in play. that's 4%. be careful. if you're in the democratic headquarters, you're saying the places,we need to run up the very early results are quite encouraging. i want to go back in time, again, look at the 2012 presidential race, mitt romney gets 61% in alabama. roy moore is running for chief justice of the supreme court on the same ballot, on the same day, he's a known figure statewide, he gets only 52%. he has a history of underperforming, even republicans, other republicans on the ballot in his own state. so remember this race. let's look at it right now. this is where it is interesting early on. i won't say significant because we've got a lot more votes to count, but this is interesting. for example, let's take a look. the democratic candidate in the 2012 race got 63% in jefferson county. it was a close race, right?
52-48, roy moore wins, bob vance losings but gets 63% in jefferson county. tonight in the early results, doug jones is up at 88%. he is overperforming early on the democrat. i can show you other counties where that is consistent. doug jones is overperforming the candidate that just lost to roy moore in 2012. if you're in roy moore headquarters, these counties right across the northern part of the state right here, evangelical christians, rural republican voters, roy moore voters, trump voters, absolutely critical to roy moore tonight to offset the urban arabias, morgan county, 2.5%. this is so far tonight. 3%. 51% to 47%. let's go back to 2012 and that race. 51% now. so roy moore is underperforming roy moore in that very competitive 1992 race. i want to, again, it's very early on as you watch this -- as you watch this fill in, but if you're in the two headquarters, you are now calling into these places. most of this is absentee ballots
and you are trying to get any intelligence you can about whether these numbers are going to stand up. another key area for doug jones, montgomery county, montgomery, alabama, of course, african-american base. then you get out into the suburbs out here. that number holds on a night when you know it's close, and you're sitting in the campaign headquarters, this is the tense time, you're looking at these numbers, if you're doug jones, this tells you i'm in play, at least for now. we'll have an interesting night. if you're roy moore, you know -- >> you see a 3% still in, but it tightened up a bit. the difference, it's getting tighter even as we speak. >> not a lot of people up here. this is just over 100 votes, but as these come out, it's just 5%, 60% in this county. the key is going to be if a, we'll do some raw math.
it's not just the fact that doug jones is winning jefferson county by 78 points there. unlikely that margin will hold up. but often we focus on the margins in these counties. tonight is a big test of turnout. we're going to see how these numbers compare to other statewide races. are more democrats turning out? like we saw in virginia and new jersey. are these numbers higher than normal in the blue places and are these numbers mother than normal in the red places? that's where we'll be a couple hours from now in this race. if you're in doug jones headquarters, got tighter. we'll probably have a roller coaster. might flip a few times. if you're in doug jones headquarters, it's in play, but you have a lot of waiting left. >> we saw roy moore takes the lead there. doug jones 48.1 i. so it just flipped even as we
were speaking. >> he's one place, we went up to 5% here. got much closer. in madison county. this is a key swing county. this could go back and forth tonight. for a democrat to be in play you want to keep this blue. it's blue at the moment but because roy moore narrowed the margin there, we're up to 12% here. we have a lot of accounting to do. most of this area that's empty, this will be blue, should be blue across here. motivate up here and down here should be in a normal alabama race would be red. judge moore has growth to be had. when we get in the urban areas we're still at 4% here. can doug jones keep anything hike those margins because it's here in tuscaloosa, more importantly here in jefferson county. then down to montgomery county and then mobile county and the southwestern part of the state
where the people are. you have the urban areas and then the suburbs. that will decide it. 50 to 48. >> not eastern a thousand votes difference. let's go to jake and dana. i suspect we're going to see a back and forth for a while as the votes come in, only 4% of the vote is in so far. >> that's right. one of the things that's been interesting about this race in talking to voters down there and republicans in alabama is that there's almost been an effort to convince these people to give them a reason to overlook the stuff they don't like about roy moore, and you can break up there race are into before the november 9th "washington post" story came out, then there was a period when it seemed as though he had been abandoned by everyone. president trump wasn't talking about him. the rnc pulled out. and then there was a time when people started pushing in. in the last few days, the people have made up their mind, have
broken for roy moore as opposed to jones. but if you go back to november, it's the opposite. 57% of the voters made up their mind before november, and 51% of them were for jones. 47% for roy moore. roy moore closed strong with these voters who were undecided. >> the momentum was against him and then very much for him. there could be a lot of reasons r first, the trump effect. the fact that the president went down to the border near alabama in florida, did a rally, did a row bow call, tweeted about him, good goth the momentum going. i was texting with a prominent southern conservative asking what he thought, and the answer was potentially the other side, former president obama coming up for jones, and kind of igniting
the republican base. just the inability for conservative person who has never voted democrat in his or her life to full lever for a democrat, or just -- this is something that's interesting. a lasting impact that sort of embedded in the culture of many southern areas that they don't like people coming from the outside and telling them what to do, and all those things could be reasons for the -- i wouldn't necessarily say it's a moore surge, but the fact is he does seem to have them. >> we have a key race alert 5% of the vote has been counted. roy moore, the republican, he's slightly ahead, 51.2% to doug jones 47.4%, about 2,500 vote advantage for roy moore over doug jones. but once again, 5% of the vote is in. roy moore takes a slight
advantage. >> back with the panel. it is obviously 5% of the vote, it's way too early to tell much. >> it would be a mistake to leap to conclusions, these exit polls are wonderful tools but they're blunt tools sometimes and they're not awesome right. again, i think the number to continue to watch is this number among college educatd whites, among whom jones hoped to build a larger lead. t than democrats usually get. right now he's not getting the numbers he needs in these exit polls. but we'll see. we're still looking at absentee ballots. >> can you just talk about these exit polls? we talk about them so much, have so much discussion. how are you they taken and what are their inherent biases?
>> you have sample precincts throughout the state. you would call a thousand americans to get the pulse of the whole country. you have people who are standing outside those sample precincts asking people do you mind if i ask you questions about the vote you just cast? and you have people take that survey. we've seen over the years that democrats are more inclined to take the survey than republicans are. and therefore, you wait against that knowing that that inherent bias exists. it is a blunt instrument, but it is a representative sample and we wait for things like what did the vote look like there historically over the last statewide elections there. that gets fed into the models you use. and you look at different models, and then most importantly, anderson, it gets weighted against the real vote as the real vote is coming in.
it gets weighted against the sample to make sure the exit poll starts reflecting with the actual voters did. >> i just heard from a republican pulser who said do you think moore voters are going to actually -- >> you mean roy moore voters. >> are going to stop and listen and take an exit poll from people they don't trust? >> yeah, because that's been a theme of this campaign, outsiders coming in, the media coming in. and that made a factor with donald trump and the polls and maybe wouldn't want to play ball. >> some might not want to admit they voted for a democrat. >> and it was a factor in the trump race in 2016 when people didn't admit they voted for trump and clearly they went in and pulled the lever for him. another interesting number to look at here, david mentioned the not impressive approval rating for the republican party. the steve bannon effect here and
kind of what that will mean coming out of here will be a big issue tomorrow because if moore wins then steve bannon is going to be empowered, that wing of the party will be empowered. this is potentially even more divisive within the party not just about what the ethics investigation and how that is going to go as well. >> do you buy that? >> i don't think that steve is going to come out of this in better shape given the tremendous veils of what his candidate has put his party and is going to put this party to if he's successful. i'm not sure this is this is the a great night for steve, even if roy moore wins. look, i happen to believe that a lot of folks, particularly those whi white suburban voters, find it hard to say they voted for roy moore. if this is this race is a daddy heat, i think roy moore's the
winner. i don't see how he doesn't win. >> there's a number i think the jones campaign is watching out for, and that's the right-end voter number. t - write-in voter number. doug jones sneeds a lower win number. he needs to win under 50%. and so i think the higher that number creeps up t better off it is for doug jones' campaign. >> we're at the top of the hour. i want to show you where the votes are. 7% of the vote in. we have 48,464 for roy moore. it just went up. 54% of the vote for roy moore, 44% for doug jones. just 8% of the vote now in. still a long way to go. polls closed just one hour ago. we're still trying to learn more about turnout numbers. we've been looking at exit polling, but we won't get the full picture until later. >> we don't know at this point what the