Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What kind of Senator will Doug Jones be?

It will be interesting to see how Doug Jones acts as a Senator. His positions on issues are the kind that prevailing wisdom says cannot win in Alabama. But he won thanks to an unpopular president and a really terrible opponent, but even then he just barely won.

In 2020 he will have to run for reelection. He probably won't have as bad of an opponent (unless Moore runs again--which I suppose is a real possibility) but if Trump stays as unpopular as he is now the fact that his reelection campaign will take place during Trump's reelection campaign might help. Or maybe not. Trump is not currently unpopular in Alabama.

Doug Jones will know all that over the next three years. Will he become one of those annoying "moderate" Democrats who feels like he has to throw a vote to the Rs on occasion?

I don't think Jones' victory is about Alabama changing. While immigration has brought some changes to the state, this is not about changing demographics. Alabama is likely to remain deeply red for a while. How will Jones deal with that reality when he is in office?