Roy Moore lying low the last weekend of campaign
Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore had no campaign events scheduled over the weekend, an unusual strategy when the special election will be held tomorrow.
In fact, since the accusations of inappropriate touching of teenage girls surfaced in November, Moore has held relatively few campaign events. His opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, has held 217 events in the last two months.
Instead of personal appearances, Moore has relied on aides and surrogates to keep his name before the public. This is a deliberate strategy to minimize his exposure to the press and avoid having to answer any embarrassing questions.
Whether the absence has any effect on Moore's chances remains to be seen. The Real Clear Politics polling average Saturday found Moore up 3.8 points over Jones, and no Democrat has won a statewide election in Alabama since 2008.
"The Moore campaign is more worried about their base than persuading any new voters at this point," said Lance Hyche, a Republican consultant. "They're probably in the same school as President Trump. He spends a lot of time worrying about his base."
David Mowery, a Montgomery political consultant who managed Democrat Bob Vance's campaign against Moore in 2012, said Saturday that Moore might be running a variation of a "front porch" campaign, perhaps a sign they feel in the lead.
"When you're ahead, or you're the perceived favorite, why give your opponent a chance to ding you?" he said. "It's kind of smart, and we're being swarmed by national media."
But Moore and his campaign also have to account for allegations that he pursued relationships with teenagers during his time as an assistant district attorney in Etowah County from 1977 to 1982, ranging from unwanted attention to groping to assault.
Moore's limited public appearances are not only a smart strategy, but really the only strategy he has that leads to victory. If he were constantly out and about, the press attention would be insane. With the national media swarming all over the state, Moore's "front porch" campaign gives them precious little to report. The less the voters are reminded of the allegations against him, the better chance he has of prevailing on election day.
Of course, that leaves the press with the only option of poring over his record to find stupid things he's said in the past.
Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) said in a 2011 interview that removing amendments after the Tenth Amendment would "eliminate many problems" with the U.S. government, CNN's KFile reported on Sunday.
Moore reportedly appeared twice on "Aroostook Watchmen" show, hosted by two men who have a history of peddling widely rejected conspiracy theories about mass shootings, 9/11 and the birthplace of former President Obama, among many others.
In June 2011 one host said he supported getting rid of every amendment besides the first ten amendments.
"That would eliminate many problems," Moore said in response to the host, according to the audio KFile unearthed.
"You know people don't understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended," he continued.
Moore specifically pointed to the 17th as a problematic amendment that contributed to the evolution from the Constitution's original structure, allowing voters to directly elect senators instead of state legislators.
Of course, eliminating all amendments after the 10th would toss the 13th amendment that eliminated slavery, the 14th amendment that guarantees equal rights, the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote, and the 26th amendment that gave the vote to 18-year-olds, among others.
Embarrassing and ignorant, but Alabama voters have heard worse from Moore and still have not completely abandoned him.
The smart money is on a Moore victory tomorrow. He appears to have successfully weathered the storm and, barring a massive turnout of minority voters, should win by a narrow margin.