Alabama Senate Coverage based on Pure Statistics – A Rain Check on the Democratic Blue Wave?

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10:31 – A night well done

We beat everyone tonight, that is what happens when you rely on pure statistics, I’ll see everyone for the various special elections to come in 2018! Have a good night, hope you enjoyed the coverage, and have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

10:25 – Before EVERYONE

Not the AP, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, 538, Politico, the New York Times, no one, called this race at 10:20, but it is over, watch, this Jones margin is only increasing.

10:20 – BREAKING: Doug Jones Wins Alabama Senate Election

We have called the race, votes pouring in cities, all Jones.

10:17 – Here are those benchmarks

Votes keep coming in, and Jones is still running about five points ahead of those benchmarks.

Tuscaloosa (expected 50-50): Jones 55-43 (17/55 precincts in)
Montgomery (expected 67-33): Jones 73-27 (48/99 precincts in)
Jefferson (expected 65-35): Jones 76-22 (125/172 precincts in)
Mobile (expected 55-45): Jones 67-33 (63/190 precincts in)

10:13 – Things on track for Jones

The margins in those four counties have shrunk a little bit, but Jones is well on pace for a 1-3 point victory statewide. We are getting near prediction mode, I’d have Jones somewhere between 75 and 85 percent, but it is not over yet.

10:05 – BREAKING: Jones takes lead statewide

But it is REALLY close, we could be headed for a recount, which is automatically triggered in races closer than half a percent.

10:02 – Those margins won’t hold

As more precincts come in, Moore is surely going to close the gap in those four population centers, by how much will decide whether or not Republicans hold the state.

9:57 – An Update on the Benchmarks

Big vote updates in Montgomery and Mobile seem to be what gave Jones the extra three points

Tuscaloosa (expected 50-50): Jones 55-43 (17/55 precincts in)
Montgomery (expected 67-33): Jones 73-28 (38/99 precincts in)
Jefferson (expected 65-35): Jones 83-16 (83/172 precincts in)
Mobile (expected 55-45): Jones 61-39 (55/190 precincts in)

9:52 – Big vote dump

Moore’s lead just got cut in half after a lot of the population centers dumped some votes.

9:50 – How this is going to break down

Right now, Moore leads by six, but the remaining counties are big population centers, guaranteed to go to Jones, the question is by how much, and how many people will show up to vote

9:40 – We said it would come down to turnout…

Black Belt counties have had higher turnout than 2014
White rural counties have had lower turnout than 2014

It is really that simple… I’d have Jones at a 2/3 chance of winning.

 9:37 – Update on my Benchmarks

Tuscaloosa (expected 50-50): Jones 55-43 (17/55 precincts in)
Montgomery (expected 67-33): Jones 87-13 (3/99 precincts in)
Jefferson (expected 65-35): Jones 82-18 (63/172 precincts in)
Mobile (expected 55-45): Jones 77-23 (11/190 precincts in)

9:32 – A Big swing

Previously Jones was as low as 22 cents to the dollar, now all the way up to 55…

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9:28 – Turnout

Looking at these counties, I’ve noticed that both candidates are doing about as well as I expected them too, but what you might not have realized is that turnout in Democratic counties is generally much higher than expected based on the primaries and the last midterm election.

9:27 – First “Black Belt” county fully in

Perry County is fully in, and Doug Jones has won by almost 60%, that is about where he should be.

9:23 – BREAKING: Jones officially a favorite in betting odds

I told you guys to watch those benchmarks, and they’ve only gotten better for Jones. He has officially taken a lead in the PredictIt live betting model, keep an eye, it swung 20% in the span of minutes earlier.

9:15 – Check in on my Benchmarks

A REMINDER

My two counties to watch for Doug Jones: Jones needs to win Tuscaloosa, and get around 75% in Montgomery (+/- 3%)

My two counties to watch for Roy Moore: Moore needs to hit 1/3 of the vote in Jefferson, and 45% in Mobile (+/- 3%)

Right Now:

Tuscaloosa: Jones 73-25 (2/55 precincts in)
Montgomery: Jones 87-13 (3/99 precincts in)
Jefferson: Jones 84-15 (43/172 precincts in)
Mobile: Jones 70-30 (1/190 precincts in)

Jones beating all four benchmarks, but very few votes in 3/4 counties.

9:07 – FIRST FULL COUNTY!!! WOOHOO

Limestone county finishes at Moore +19, he won it by 23 when he won the state by four back in 2012… so we’re still at a dead heat.

9:05 – Right as I say that

Right when I say to buy on Jones, he is back up! Pushing 40 percent, this is a roller coaster ride. (If you somehow bought it when he was at 20%, you can sell it back and double your money)

9:03 – If I was a betting man…

I’d have it at a 50-50 split still, right where I was before polls closed. If you are a betting person, buy Jones at 20 cents to the dollar.

9 – Moore rebounds

Moore went from a 50% a few minutes ago, all the way up to 80 once Moore took the statewide lead

8:58 – Moore Takes the statewide lead

More just took the statewide lead,  but he is still behind in all four of my benchmark counties, betting markets also snapped back towards Moore violently.

8:56 – Limestone County Part 2

More results are in in the Northern county of Limestone (we are choosing this one just because it has the most precincts reporting) and now Moore, who would expect around a 20 point victory their, is up by 24.

8:50 – Those Betting Markets

The PredictIt live betting model has Jones up to 49%, up 16 points in the past hour, I’m telling you, watch those benchmark counties.

8:47 – Limestone County

Limestone County is the only county with more than half of their precincts reporting, and Jones is outrunning Hillary by 15-20 points.

8:42 – Doug Jones might have a shot?

Jones is up 10% in the past hour in the PredictIt live betting model, and while we still are at 2% in, Jones is beating both of his bellwethers I set, and Moore isn’t meeting either of his via the New York Times live results by county.

8:30 – Some Bellwethers for a Moore/Jones win

My two counties to watch for Doug Jones: Jones needs to win Tuscaloosa, and get around 75% in Montgomery (+/- 3%)

My two counties to watch for Roy Moore: Moore needs to hit 1/3 of the vote in Jefferson, and 45% in Mobile (+/- 3%)

8:22 – <1% Reporting, don’t get fooled!

8:08 – The Full Exit Poll

Here is the poll by CNN, shows a race within a percentage point with some very basic reverse engineering.

8 – Results By Race

BLACK VOTERS – Jones 95/5 Moore
WHITE VOTERS – Jones 27/70 Moore

The 30% Black Electorate is above what would be considered a great night for Jones, but even that wouldn’t be enough to make up a 40+ point loss among white voters.

7:55 – The Preview, Exit Polls, and The Prediction

All right, I know that is a lot of information, but let me break it down. First off, the baseline I’ll be using is my demographic + polling model. Normally, I’ve noticed this model is skewed towards Democrats, but in a heightened state of Democratic awareness, it has performed better than my more turnout based models during Georgia-6th and Election Day last month. This model was separated by a few thousandths of a percent between the two candidates. Taking into account recent polling trends, I changed my projections from a toss-up to about a 65% chance for Roy Moore to win. Then, the exit polls came in. The most telling number to me was the 30% black makeup of the electorate, higher than even my tossup model projected. If the exit polls are correct, I would put Jones as a favorite, but if you remember back to the 2016 presidential election, exit polls normally OVER represent black and college-educated voters, and therefore over-represent Democratic candidates. Right now, I’m back to a tossup as we are going towards poll closing.

A couple other notes

Trump’s favorability is 48-48 among voters, while among the population of the state as a whole, it is a double-digit margin for Trump. 

Doug Jones’ favorability is above Roy Moore’s favorability in the same poll, and the “shares my values” poll (not pictured) also shows Jones, who is pro-choice, ahead of Moore. I would bet that if Jones was pro-life, he would be miles ahead.

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