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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 12, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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in this race in alabama and the open question tonight is whether this is the bridge too far. even the republican voters of alabama, donald trump won by 30 points cannot bring themselves to send roy moore to the united states senate. rick wilson and jason johnson, thank you for joining us. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. this is a fun day to be in the jobs we have. >> fascinating, one of the most fascinating races. >> so many things to watch and monitor and pay attention to and contention and one of the days i'm super grateful to be here. >> me, too. >> thanks to all of you at home for joining us this hour on this very exciting, very consequential news night. it's going to be very consequential either way and we have no idea how it's going to go at this point. it is now 9:00 p.m. eastern time, which means 8:00 p.m. central, which means poll haves been closed in the great state of alabama for one hour. i mean, more than ever an hour
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after polls closing, that's the time when there is no reason to speculate on the ultimate outcome of this election. we are going to know soon enough. we are going to know tonight and all likelihood and we will let you know as soon as we know anything. throughout the broadcast this evening until we get a call in the race, you'll be seeing the same raw numbers we got. the most up to date count inb l alabama. with 8% in, leading doug jones and full screen images or the bottom of the screen as you see it there. the lower third of the screen as we get exit poll data or raw vote. when it comes to interpreting the numbers and figuring out who they look good for, we have steve on deck.
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he's been crunching the numbers all day since we got the first exit poll data in. steve is better than anybody else on tv network or cable or otherwise. at explaining what the numbers mean as they come in and what to watch for and where to watch for relevant data so steve will be here in just a minute. i'm looking forward to that. we'll be talking about why doug jones supporters and democrats were very excited, very booed by some of the exit poll data that came in and made public late this afternoon. there is both reason for doug jones supporters to be excited in the exit poll numbers and there is reason for them to be cautious. as we are watching the very early data start to trickle in, i think it's worth appreciating what kind of landscape one of these two candidates is going to be joining when they get elected tonight and sent to washington very soon. obviously, if this alabama senate seat goes democratic, if it goes to doug jones, that will change the math in washington
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for everything republicans want to do. i mean, roy moore may change the personality or the republican party and it may change the discussion around the republican party. it likely won't change the math, but if doug jones beats roy moore, that will change the math and there is considerably interest in the possibility that a doug jones election tonight might conceivably endanger republicans plans in washington to pass a final version of the gigantic tax bill. republican senate leader mitch mcconnell tried to head off the speculation today with this announcement that he has no intention of allowing the winner of this senate race tonight in alabama to be sworn in before the end of the year. luther strange to stay in senate until end of current session. this announcement from mitch mcconnell today means that if the republicans in congress are able to get a final version of the tax bill up for a vote any time before new years eve, they apparently will be able to count on luther string's vote for it.
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whether or not alabama voters decided to replace him with doug jones or roy moore. so i don't know why mitch mcconnell made that announcement today. i don't know if he knows something we don't and that's why he made the announcement whatever wins tonight isn't getting sworn in until next year. i should say it's possible that alabama won't be able to get tonight's election results certified anyway until the very end of the year and so maybe mcconnell's maneuver is only going to buy him luther strange's vote for a few more days but still, a fairly jarring announcement to get from mitch mcconnell and the republican controlled senate while alabama voters were lining up today to make their choice. let's put up the full screen showing how much of the vote we got right now. 12% in. nbc's characterization of the race is that it is too early to call. you see roy moore with a three-point lead there. 13% in now. again, too early to call. the difference between them under 5,000 votes.
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roy moore at 5 1%. doug joins 48%. in terms of what to expect from the results tonight, honestly, nobody knows because there is a lot of good reasons why it's been hard to project. 33 days ago "the washington post" broke the bombshell story quoting four named alabama women saying that roy moore had pursued them actually when they were teenagers and while he was a grown man in his 30s. that washington post story was 33 days ago. before that story had broken, the secretary of state in bam bap said -- alabama expected turnout to be 18% and the story came out and the race is what it is and the secretary of state upped that estimate saying he expects it will be more like 25% turnout and we won't know the total numbers for awhile. we got an nin this case tota ar.
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we heard from both campaigns, it was their estimate turnout seemed high to the moore campaign and jones campaign but those anecdotes and impressions are hard to cturn into real dat on election day. we'll find out soon enough what the turnout was. i mean, bottom line here, in alabama and a state like alabama, it is widely believed it would take a miracle for a democrat to win a state-wide seat right now, let alone a u.s. senate seat. it's been a decade since a democrat won a state-wide seat in alabama and that was a lieutenant governor chase. that guy beat luther strange i should mention. a democrat won a state public commission seat a couple years after that but public service commission. but that's the level of detail you have to go to to find big democratic statewide victories in alabama politics over the last decade. that's it. this is not an ordinary time for american politics.
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this is not an ordinary race for alabama and not just because the republican is roy moore but the democrat has an unusual pedigree in the race. doug jones is the u.s. attorney that prosecuted the clansman for decades got away with the 16th street baptist church bombing. some of the signs for doug jones in the senate race lists civil rights champion under his name in the seat he's running for like that's his occupation. doug jones civil rights champion vote december 12th. doug jones is white, running as a civil rights champion and got a gbackground to back it up and the biggest proportion are african american voters. one of the wild cards in this race that makes it particularly hard to extrapolate to get a beat on what might happen tonight, one of the wild cards, alabama put into place a new photo id law that went into effect after the supreme court
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could no longer stop them from doing things like this. it's estimate that over 100,000 registered voters in alabama now no longer have the kind of documentation they legally have to show in order to vote because of that photo i.d. law. black and latino alabamaens are twice as likely than whites to not have the photo id to vote. and that makes it hard to predict, nobody knows what the impact of that new restrictive law will be on the prospects of getting a big african american turnout. i mean, when it comes to general principles on these things in general, people tend to vote more often in presidential years, presidential election years got the biggest turn jet. people vote less often in miss term elections and people vote less still in special elections like the one that's being held tonight and as a general matter, as turnout gets lower and lower,
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it tends to get whiter and whiter and older and older which means as a general principle, low turnout elections and special elections tend to be good for republican and conservative because of the small electret. the same general principles make it hard to model what turnout might be on a night like this with candidates like this. we don't know who will turnout. we don't know who turnedout and made it to the polls and made it and has made it hard to get good polling for an election like this. if you cannot model turnout, you can't model what the election result is going to be based on a statistical sample of voters. that's why the polling is all over the map for this race. it's really because nobody knows who is going to turn out so nobody knows how to wait samples. that uncertainty about turnout, the fact that there is no good basis which to predict turnout that not just -- doesn't just make polling difficult, it makes it hard for the campaigns on both sides to figure out their
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strategy, to figure out their targeting, to figure out what their hopes are and their goals are when they mount get out the vote efforts for various constituencies they are targeting. we'll go to steve core knack ki in a second. i'll tell you a couple things i've been watching over the course of the day and as we started to get results in, number one, i've been watching te talladega county. it's a classic bellwether county for alabama but the proportion of the vote for them mirrors what is republican statewide soft that is held true in a couple recent elections. we'll be watching talladega tonight to see if it's a cliff note what will happen overall. talladega is a bellwether. number two, i'm looking to
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compare the roy moore vote tonight to the last time we had a roy moore vote in alabama. moore ran statewide in 2012 against a democrat named bob vance. roy moore beat bob vance 52-48, which is close, actually. so i want to watch the biggest counties in the state, the most populous counties in the state to compare doug jones' performance tonight with this other democrat from 2012 who came close to beating roy moore that night. in 2012 running against roy moore, bob vance won all four of the most populous counties of the state. jefferson county, madison county where huntsville is, mobile county, montgomery. bob vance won them all against roy moore in 2012 with anywhere between 52 and 71% of the vote. so in each of the counties tonight we'll be looking to see in those places is doug jones able to improve in those big populous counties, is he able to improve on that margin that that
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democrat got against roy moore five years ago when he almost beat roy moore? i'll tell you one lucky part of approaching this election that way is that we're told that madson county where huntsville is, that's sometimes relativelierly reporter sometimes able to turn the vote around quickly, in which case madison county may give an early indication what is going on and how roy moore is performing compared to 2012 when he squeaked out a win. the last thing i'm watching for tonight is the same thing everybody is watching for, african american turnout. if you want to know how this race is going to go and look at it in realistic terms, not just where people are turning out and voting, you need to know who is turning out to vote. you need to know in particular the proportion of the electret that is african american. if you want to know like the range of possibilities of what they might mean in terms of the outcomes tonight, take for comparison sake what happened in 2012. if you want to know what is possible for african turnout,
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2012 is a presidential election year. in general that means a lot of people vote and in presidential election years, more people who tend to vote democratic including african american and young voters tend to turn out so presidential year 2012 you expect the electret to be less white and less old and you expect a high african american turnout in 2012 because on the ballot at the temperature of the ticket was alabama. so that year you expect to be a high water mark for african americans as a proportion of the overall vote in alabama, that year black voters were 28% of the vote. now for all the reasons why that was a high water mark, you would never expect a special election to turnout an electret that had that high proportion. they are generally whiter in turnout and nobody would expect
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in normal circumstances. joe trippy said this morning what they are aiming at, what the jones' campaign is aiming at in terms of the african american vote is ambitious. they hope for mid 20s in terms of the percentage of the overall electret that is is african american. quote, we have built the biggest get out the vote structure in the state of alabama. he said african americans would have to represent a percentage of the electret in the mid 20s at a minimum. that is ambitious. the last presidential race for which we got numbers with an african american president running for e reelection is 28%. jones trying to get to mid 20s. as a general matter that should be seen as an unobtainable number for a special election like this. we know from the jones' campaign trying to get to the mid 20s. the 5:00 p.m. exit poll data
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came in tonight and updated exit poll data came in around 8:00 and it turns out that the proportion of the black vote is not just higher than what the jones' campaign was hoping for, according to the first wave of exit poll data, the portion that turned out today in alabama that's african american is not only higher than what the jones' campaign was expecting but the presidential election in 2012. african american proportion of the vote is 30%. and that exit poll data, that's what made democrats all across the country and supporters of doug jones in alabama, that made people excited today in terms of the exit poll data. here is the giant asterisks, though. it's exit poll data and a little short-hand device is that exit polls are always wrong. just a little short hand. write it on your hand. don't forget exit poll is always wrong and recently they are wrong often in the direction of over stating likely democratic
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vote including specifically over stating the black proportion of the vote. so those numbers about african american turnout looked miraculous today for doug jones' supporters and very heartening but caution, caution, caution. if you have an emotional investment in this race on either side, do not hook your emotions up to a slay led by exit poll data. it's worth knowing what it is but this time of year, slay is led by reindeer only. don't follow the exit polls down any particular path. joining us now is national political correspondent for msnbc steve. thank you for being here. >> let's take you through everything we got in now. about a quarter of the vote in with a counted total right now moore is leading but big caution here, the biggest county in the state, jefferson county where birmingham is. let's forget the 55, 44 right
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now and take a look at the key countries. let's break this state up this way. let's basically look north of birmingham. this region of the state. there are two things to keep an eye on in this region. basically take this is one and the rest of it is the other. the rest of it, this is the part of the state where donald trump absolutely blew the roof off in 2016. these are rural republican counties. donald trump improved the most over mitt romney in this part of the state compared to anywhere else. this is a really interesting test for roy moore. we know he'll be winning up here these counties, the question is what margin does he get? is it closer to the trump level last year or down where he was in 2012 in these places when he nearly lost the race for chief justice? with that in mind, we have a couple counties with 100% so we can get clues to what is going on. let's take a look up here in li limestone county to set this up. the total for donald trump was 72%. the total for roy moore in 2012
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when he lost statewide was 62%. what does it look like? roy moore is under the total from nearly losing campaign of 2012. we have another county with 100% in here. trump 74%. 64% for moore when he nearly lost. what do we have 62% for moore. what we are seeing counties, we got 100%. a lot are partial totals but that's a clue. the rural counties in the northern part. closer to the 12, those are numbers you want to see if you're the jones' campaign. take huntsville, madison. take madison as a different entity up here. the madison, the hunlsviltsvill metro, this county here is number two in the state in concentration of college graduates. that is the target for the jones' campaign. they think they can win over college educated suburban voters. this is the place they want to be getting them at to set this
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up, madison 55% is the total that donald trump got in this county. 48% for roy moore when he nearly lost in 2012 and what is -- this is a partial return. right now you see moore coming in at 39%. this is a big one to keep an eye on. democrats don't just want to win this. they want a margin out of this county. that's what is going on in the northern part of the state. the flip side, if there is encouraging news from early counties for the moore campaign down south in the rural areas really in the southern part of the state. take a look here in dale county. almost all in. small in rural but again, more when he lost -- nearly lost, excuse me, nearly lost in 2012 he was at 63% in this county. he's gone up from that number. you can take a look here. again, moore was at 70% here in 2012 when he nearly lost statewide. he's up to 74%. it's a mixed bag. this is an incomplete return. it's a mixed bag. there are positive signs for
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jones' in the rural areas up here. there are more trouble signs for jones in the rural areas down here and really, again, we have to see what happens. we have a very small partial return. shelby county, the suburbs of birmingham. they have the highest concentration of college graduates in the state. this is a county donald trump got 73% of the vote in when he ran in 2016. if you're jones, you basically want moore in the low 60s. you might want to see him a touch lower but this is the place the jones' campaign thought they could make in route. again, let's see what happens in huntsville. let's see what happens in jefferson. mobile has to be democratic. this is another one. 65%. that's the number for moore in baldwin county when he nearly lost in '12. if you're the jones campaign, you want him there or lower. this -- i say a lot of words here, rachel. this is a close race. >> this is a close race. following along, i picked out
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counties as places to watch, as well, what i hear you saying basically is that jones is kind of meeting what we assume are his targets in these places and that moore is meeting his targets or exceeding them in the places where he knows that he is strongest. i mean, my notes to myself on shelby county, baldwin county, limestone was that jones would be looking at 30 to 40% as his target in the places. what you gave us is 33, 36, 39% in those countries. the characterization in the race is too close to call. it had been too early to call. that's an important update. as far as i can tell in terms of what we're expecting for bellwether and what the campaign's expectations were, this is -- i think they both probably got something to be happy about right now. >> we can show you, i put it up on the screen. if you're the jones' campaign. mobile, you only got 4% of the vote here. this is where you want to run up
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the score. jefferson county, you want to finish in the high 60s here if you're the jones campaign. you got close to a third. this is from heavily black precincts in birmingham. you got, again, a third of the vote. you love seeing this if you're the jones campaign. the big metro areas, we see a lot of rural stuff coming in. big metro areas. >> thank you very much. i know we're going to be seeing a lot more of you as the evening goes on. if you're looking for big population centers here, the four most populous counties, the jones campaign expects to win but needs big margins, madison county, mobile county, jefferson county, that's where birmingham is and we'll be looking at the state overall but watching the proportion of the vote come in in each of the counties to try to give us a sense of whether these campaigns are getting what they need out of the strongholds. all right. an exciting night. lots more to come tonight. cory booker is here and top political reporter in alabama
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who will be joining us live. stay with us.
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let's take a look at the latest numbers that continue to come in from the u.s. senate race. over a third of the vote is in. 36% of the vote in. roy moore leading doug jones 52-47%. again, we're kncontinuing to wah this tonight and watching key areas of the state to see whether the campaign's expectations are met, exceeded or under fperformed. we'll keep the raw vote total alive at the bottom of the screen as we bring in one of the
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best political reporters in the great state of alabama. one of the numbers that jumped out from the exit polling tonight is the approval rating of a guy whose not on the ballot. last fall, president trump won alabama by 28 points. but tonight, with alabama voters, the president is under water. approval 47%, disapproval 48%. maybe that means alabama has soarsow sower -- soured on the guy or maybe that means a different group came today as opposed to the 2016 electret. joining us today at doug jones headquarters columnist. john, nice to see you. thanks forthanks for having me,. >> washington post broke the news of four women that said they were pursued actually by roy moore and teenagers as young as 14. i talked with you here on this
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show in the wake of that reporting and then follow up reporting with additional accusers coming out in alabama and you told me, john, that even though those allegations and those women's stories were sinking in and having a major impact, it would not have anfect -- an effect on this election that roy moore would win. has anything happened in the 33 days? >> well, right now it's really a coin flip and i have no idea what will happen. i think it's true that allegations rallied roy moore's base. you can see that. what maybe i didn't count on quite enough when i talked to you is it rallied the doug jones base and it turned into something that very few of us ever saw coming and that's a really, really tight vicious insane sort of race and that's going to go down to the wire. >> as paraas we understafar as
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money in this race, we think doug jones out spent roy moore on tv by a margin of 6-1. which is an insane margin. especially in a very republican state. do you think that paid media made a difference? do you make of the quality of the doug jones campaign? >> i think that from the very start, first, being when he decided after the primary to go to work and talk about abortion and that in someways that conversation has been mischaracterized but been the one that followed him the whole way. his campaign has actually done a better job getting out the vote i think in the last few days than it was given credit for. so i think that sort of remains to be seen but there were missteps along the way. >> in terms of the roy moore campaign, the prospect of roy moore winning tonight. we got roy moore up by six points with 39% of the vote in. if those results hold and roy
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moore gets to the united states senate, are people reckoning with the prospect that he might not be seated or get committee seats once he's there? >> i think most people will believe he will be seated ultimately. i'm of the opinion, i watched roy moore for 20 years. i watched him as a circuit judge and supreme court justice twice be removed from the office both teams and roy moore does not like to serve in government. roy moore likes to be removed. i'm absolutely convinced if he's seated in the senate, he'll do anything he can to be removed and use that as a platform to talk around the country or god forb forbid run for president. >> wow. a man whose words on this show i pre kwenltly -- frequently rea transcript to make sure they are true and read back. thank you. >> thank you. >> doug jones for headquarters.
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i want us to put up one screen we showed a moment ago. nbc highlighted talladega as a bellwether. watching the result in talladega seemed to show you what the statewide result will be. with 96% of the vote in talladega doug jones 50%, roy moore 50%. this looks tighter than a tick. talladega county agrees. cory booker jones us next. ♪
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republicans on capitol hill threatened to expel roy moore if he makes it to washington. do you think that could happen? >> absolutely. alabama needs help with more infrastructure dollars and more expanding broad band in this state. needs help with public education in state. the republicans will work with and democrats will work with and there is only one person in the race, my colleagues told me and said they will try to oust him as soon as he's there. there are big bills going through. alabama needs a chair and need somebody that can bring that home. >> new jersey senator cory booker in birmingham, alabama campaigning with doug jones and republican colleagues in the senate told him if roy moore
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goes they will try to expel him and lose senate representation nbc news too close to call, right now roy moore and doug jones. thanks for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> what did you learn on your campaign trip to see this. >> i was so proud, alabama pride the energy and excitement. whatever the outcome of this election and i believe doug jones will win. i just know that whatever you say, this is a sign this race is even this close, this is a good omen for the energy, enthusiasm
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in alabama. >> people see you as a potential factor is african american turnout in alabama and worries about the suppress sieve vote a voter i.d. law disenfranchised a considerable number of voters in that state. what did you think about the jones' campaign and the democratic campaign broadly to try to mobilize and empower african american voters for this election? >> i spent a lot of time with the incredible field director for the campaign and african american gentleman who spent a lot of time in the south from georgia. he is sort of running through the met tricks of the campaign got me really excited about the kind of calls doing door knocks and field operation. there has been a lot of effort to mobilize the operation and i wasn't convinced until i started hitting two different college campuses, hbcus and multiple,
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multiple churches and seeing the energy of the black community and how personally they were taking this campaign. so i think you're going to see black turnout exceed people's expectations and i was very grateful to see how doug jones really did connect with that community. >> senator, let me also ask you about those words of yours that we heard at the top of the segment here, which you made at that campaign event, the statement you made at the campaign event answering questions from reporters. you said republican senators told you personally that they will try to get roy moore out of the senate if he wins tonight. are those statements, those promises still operative? has the republican caucus in the senate outgrown their outrage over roy moore and those allegations against him about women that said he pursued them when they were teenagers? >> i hope so and time will tell. we've seen senators say this publicly about their desire to
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oust him, not to see him seated. you've seen with conviction, a lot of my colleagues saying that and i hope that's the case. this is getting strained with the partisan analysis. this needs to be analysis of the institution itself. someone banned from a ball does not belong in the united states senate. this doesn't need an analysis. this is really a test of our institution should he win and i believe he won't. should he win, it's going to be a test of our institution and see have we fallen into such a low level of triable where we stopped having common decency and sense. i was shocked how many former pages reached out to me, appointed by republicans and democrats to express outrage that this is a person that might come and these are pages that serve when they are 16 years old and outraged this person might have a chance at serving in the
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united states country. this is not who we are as a country and we can't allow this person to serve. i hope the alabama voters will shut it down. >> cory booker of new jersey. nice to see you. thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> watching the total result come in, we're at 55% of the vote in. this is too close to call according to nbc news estimation. with 55% of the vote in, roy moore leads 52-47%. i want to take you back to tell d -- talladega county. we had almost complete results and that is seen as a bellwether in terms of the overall results statewide. right now we've got 100% in from talladega county. it's close. steve kornacki is standing by. i understand we have interesting new data on turnout? >> yeah, this is interesting and
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two things i want to show you. we talked about a refrain was not just democrats support from black voters and turnout. let me show you three counties and give you an example. these are majority black. jones with 100% in. this is in the region of the state with lots of majority black counties. here is the interesting stat. this total turnout levin greene county is 78%. so it's 78% of that level. this seems to be a trend wae're seeing. i'll show you another one. here is perry county. jones winning overwhelmingly the turnout here 71%. excuse me, 76% of last year in bu bullet county 71%. high 70s of the 2016 turnout. contrast that to the heavily white rural areas where moore is
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running up the score. so remember, in the 70s down here. here is winston county, alabama. overwhelming moore win. this is at 55% of the 2016 level. okay? go north of that to lawrence county. again, 100% in big moore win. you're at 57% of the 2016 level. we talked i think earlier about limestone county. again, moore a little smaller in terms of support here than last time around but also, this is only 61% of the support. there seems to be -- you're seeing in the rural areas up here, not the same energy in 2016 compared to down hear in the heavily black counties. the turnout more impressive in the heavily black counties than up here and very quickly, one other county is white college educated suburban. that's where they try to flip republican voters. one county with the highest concentration is lee county, not surprisingly the home of robert university. lee has just came in.
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trump won lee with 53% of the vote. excuse me, 59% of the vote hmooe last time got 53%. tonight, roy moore is down to 43% and that is with all of lee county in. this is exactly when you hear the jones campaign and look at the map of counties and circle the places with the biggest concentration and said this is where we need a big turn, this is exactly what you wanted the see. >> if i'm not mistaken, home of auburn university, when hillary clinton competed against donald trump in lee county, she got 3%7 of the vote. >> yeah. >> doug jones is beating by 20 points. >> easily. this is sort of the -- this is the exact scenario. i'm just checking to see if we got more vote coming in. lee county, that is textbook for the jones' -- if you talk about the level of black turnout waer s -- we're seeing and start getting switches like that, that's the formula.
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if they can continue to see that, that is the formula for jones. >> with 57% of the vote in, roy moore does have the lead. 52%. as steve coko core -- kornacki we'll have more surety what will happen. stay with us.
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here is something that means absolutely nothing but i'm
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interested to see it. can we put up two pictures side by side? yes, these are the two headquarters, judge roy moore on the left and doug jones on the right. these are both live shots. these two campaign headquarters as watching the incredibly close results come in, the roy moorhead quarters would appear to be more crowded and doug jones appears to be less crowded and that means nothing but still, at this point it's still fascinating. 59% of the vote in. 52-46 with moore leading jones. we're waiting in particular for more of the vote to come in from places like mobile and birmingham. joining me is a member of the democratic leadership. thank you for joining us. nice to have you here. >> so glad to be here. let me first say, also, there are about five different celebrations going on tonight for doug jones election as the next u.s. senator from the great state of alabama so you knead to
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look at all five sites to see the number of people excited about this candidate in jefferson county and the state of alabama. >> i hear your excitement, i also hear your optimism for your chosen candidate here tonight and how you think he's going to do. are you by nature an optimistic person so you're always going to say that or is there something that makes you believe he's going to win? >> both. i'm an optimist. i had an event early this morning, meet me at our polling place where i was overwhelmed with the number of people there to vote at 7:30 this morning, so i'm excited. i'm excited about what this candidate stands for, and i'm excited to have the type of venation in washington d.c. of the likes of doug jones. >> were there any problems, serious problems that you heard about today that you think were well documented today in terms of people having trouble voting about the way the election was run, were there significant problems around the new voter
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i.d. law? >> sure, not so much about voter i.d. because this was not our first time at the radio with voter i.d., but what i did hear about around the state in montgomery, of course, they had two elections going on. why in the world did we have two separate ballots? people had to stand in line for both the u.s. senate election and then the state senate election. something is wrong with that process. that all could have been on one ballot. also, we're hearing issues in selma where there were machines broken down in selma. why in these concentration of african american counties did we have these types of issues. so we did hear those things. and unfortunately, the tro that we had against the state secretary and the secretary of state john merrill, in order to preserve those ballots was overturned by this republican supreme court in the state of alabama. if you really want to preserve the vote, why in the world would you not want to keep the scan of those ballots so we can make sure that our election was not compromised in the state of alabama? >> representative coleman, we
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obviously still don't have a result tonight. it's ten minutes to 10:00 on the east coast, 10 minutes to 9:00 where you. we got 61% of the vote. in and according to nbc, this is still too close to call. regardless who wins, do you think this was a transformative election for the party in alabama? did this change the capabilities of the democratic party in your state? >> sure. sure. i was elected first in 2002 when the democrats were in the majority. i came in a super majority as a democrat. and then in 2010, the republicans swept all three constitutional offices in addition to the state legislature. now here we are in 2017 with this race being this close. this really gives energy to the democratic party in the state of alabama. it also shows the rest of the country, showed the democratic, the dnc that we play in the state of alabama. so i'm excited. definitely i want doug jones to win tonight. but across the board we have real opportunity in the 2018 elections, what our state legislative races, with our
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gubernatorial races. and all of the other state constitutional officers. and i'm excited about 2018. >> i can tell. you're making a good case for it. alabama state representative merika coleman, a member of the democratic leadership. really appreciate your time tonight. thanks for being with us. >> thank you so much, rachel. love what you do. >> thank you. that's very nice. more ahead. we've been talking about those most populous counties in the state, which are going to be absolutely key to a doug jones win. looking at madison county where huntsville, montgomery county, mobile county, jefferson county where birmingham. those are all counties that are the most populous in the state. doug jones is expected to win all of those counties. the question is how big a margin he is going to have in some of those counties. we've got some important data next that we're going to go through with steve kornacki in terms of how much of the vote we've got out of those big city precincts and counties. much more ahead. stay with us.
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we continue to watch the results come in the alabama senate race, including now a real focus on the most populous counties in the state. steve kornacki? >> look, we've got a real trend here. we were talking about this a little earlier. really, if you're looking all through this area of alabama here, these are the heavily black counties in the state, you are seeing turnout levels that are in the 70, 75, 78% of what they were in the 2016 election. if you look down here, sort of the wire grass region, supposed to be the epicenter for roy moore. he is doing very well in terms of the share of the vote he is
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getting, but you're getting 58, 57% of the turnout you had in 2016. it's something we're also seeing up here. again, in these rural, heavily republican counties, you're seeing a turnout advantage, an enthusiasm advantage in the heavily black areas of the state. so that is a key thing that is happening for jones. and you mention it, look. in terms of jones' strategy, that's good news for him. this is where you got the most vote. you have mobile county. barely anything has come in and half of jefferson county. look, he is already ahead by 60,000 votes. the margin, the 85% should come down a little bit. but again, there are some big areas out where jones is expected to do very well. >> and that will be absolutely key to him being able to pull this off where. he is expected to win the most populous counties in the state. we don't have a big proportion over many yet. all right. steve kornacki, we'll be right back with more of the results from alabama.
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it is two hours since the polls closed in alabama, and we
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still don't know. right now we have 72% of the vote. in i did not think we would have 72% in by 10:00. but we do. and right now it's too close to call. roy moore with a slim lead over doug jones. a little bit less than 23,000 votes between them. a 51-48 split right now with just under 3/4 of a vote. in again, doug jones and his campaign, his supporters right now really keep a close eye on the big most populated counties in the state, including birmingham and montgomery and mobile and huntsville. we do not have complete results from the counties where any of those cities are located. and that's supposed to be the real stronghold. not just in terms of the proportion by which doug jones is expected to win there, but the sheer number of votes he is expected to get out of those places. so still very exciting that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. anyone who is wondering what the age of trump has done to the republican party, the last time,