File this under "things I just don't understand." You would think that black voters in Alabama would already be camping out at the polls to vote for Doug Jones. The Democrats been pounding a relentless message for the last year that Trump is a threat to all they hold dear, especially for minorities. And forget the allegations against Roy Moore, there are enough proven reasons to question his fitness for the Senate. Add to that the fact that Doug Jones successfully prosecuted 2 of the KKK members who bombed a church in Birmingham and murdered 4 little girls and I can't imagine black voters NOT being motivated to vote for him.
But apparently, they're not particularly. The WaPo ran an article last week on the lack of enthusiasm from black voters in this race (https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/doug-joness-problem-african-american-voters-not-energized-by-alabama-senate-race/2017/11/24/c305a2ec-ce31-11e7-a1a3-0d1e45a6de3d_story.html?utm_term=.64a474274112) It quotes state Senator Hank Sanders as saying: “Right now, many African Americans do not know there is an election on December 12." This is not a new problem. White voters are a far more reliable voting base. We vote in presidential elections, midterms, special elections and runoffs at a much higher rate than minorities. In fact, one big reason that we're not all addressing President HIllary Rodham Clinton right now is that black voters did not turn out for her in the same numbers they did for Obama.
Before you scoff at the lack of civic involvement for minority voters, remember that McCain and Romney both lost because of a lack of enthusiasm from WHITE voters. Especially rural white voters. One of my favorite analyses of the 2016 election was a podcast between Jonathan Capehart of the WaPo and former RNC chair Michael Steele. Capehart made the reference that Donald Trump "went fracking for white votes." That's an excellent analogy. Trump found rural white voters that previous candidates hadn't been able to reach. Steele put it less elegantly. He said "Trump pulled white votes out of his a--."
I just don't get it. I really don't. I voted this past November. There were 3 races on my ballot: The mayor (who was running unopposed) my city council representative (my candidate lost) and a choice on paying more sales tax. But I still voted. Two years ago I voted in a runoff for tax commissioner (and again, my candidate lost.) But to me, nothing is going to have more effect on MY life than the debate our city council is having on building apartments up the street from me or who is controlling my county taxes.
It's not just special elections that get a poor turnout. Only 58% of eligible voters voted in the 2016 presidential race - the most important race in the history of mankind according to the alarmists on both sides. Fewer than 30% voted in the primaries (which may be why we got two such dismal candidates.) I can't really blame voters for failing to choose between Clinton and Trump. I basically took a mulligan (or a McMullen as it were) rather than vote for either of them. But still I voted because I didn't want the assholes stealing my vote from me.
One special election that exceeded expectations was Georgia 6th district showdown between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel. I live just outside the district, but all of us in metro Atlanta were subjected to the relentless ads, mailers and phone calls (why can't these campaigns at least manage to limit calls to ACTUAL VOTERS IN THE DISTRICT?) But the most expensive house race EVER yielded a 37% turnout which is almost unheard of in special elections. Voters were so motivated that many turned up at the Dekalb offices demanding to know why their local poll wasn't open, only to be told that they didn't live in the 6th district. One guy showed up the day of the primary AND the day of the runoff because he wanted to make sure nothing had changed.
So apparently this is what it takes to motivate Americans to vote: either a religious fervor for their chosen candidate or pure, unadulterated fear of the other guy. That doesn't bode will for the future of our Republic.