Tommy Tuberville has two things going for him in his race to unseat Alabama’s Democrat Senator Doug Jones on Tuesday: He coached Auburn University to a 13-0 season in 2004 and won the Sugar Bowl. And he is a virtual clone of President Donald Trump, who won the state by 28 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Current polling shows that is likely to be more than enough to unseat Jones, with polls showing him lagging Tuberville by nearly 15 points.
Jones won a runoff against Judge Roy Moore in 2017, beating Moore by just 1.6 percentage points. Some have called his victory over Moore “lightning in a bottle,” which means it isn’t likely to happen again. Moore, in fact, was leading until dubious sexual-assault charges were levied against him.
About the only thing going for Jones is his 3-to-1 advantage in fundraising. Other than that, on every major issue of importance to Alabama voters, he has come out on the wrong side. He voted to impeach the president, he has called Alabama’s law criminalizing abortion in almost all cases “shameful,” and he voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation and against Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation on Monday. He has publicly declared his support for Black Lives Matter (BLM). He supports raising the age to purchase a gun to 21. His cumulative rating on The New American’s Freedom Index is an abysmal 17 out of 100.
On the other hand, Tuberville has staked out positions nearly identical to the president on issues dear to Alabamans: “I’m for guns, our Second Amendment” declared the former football coach at a rally in September. “I’m against abortion. I’m for religious freedom. Don’t tell me where to go and when I can’t go to church. We’ve got to get God back in our schools, folks.”
He added: “I’m for conservative, Christian judges. We’ve got one we’re fixing to put in,” referring to Barrett. And Tuberville has called for the repeal of ObamaCare. He dismissed the “science” of climate change, saying that it “won’t change enough in the next 400 years to affect anybody.”
Tuberville has been endorsed by President Trump and the National Right to Life Committee.
The Alabama race, along with the race in Michigan against Democrat incumbent Senator Gary Peters, represents the best chance to flip two Democrat Senate seats red next Tuesday.
According to David Mowery, head of political consultancy Mowery Consulting Group, “Jones can run the perfect race and still lose by 5 to 7 points just because the fundamentals of our electorate are so tilted to the Republicans,” adding:
That’s the biggest problem for the Jones people.
He has to convince people who are Republicans to go in and vote for the Republican ticket and then go down the ballot and say, “I’m going to vote for Doug.” It’s just very hard to do.
You’d have to convince somewhere between 350,000 and 500,000 people to do that.
Tuberville’s likely win is giving comfort to Republicans who are defending 23 seats, while Democrats only have to worry about retaining 12 on Tuesday. At present, Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the U.S. Senate.