It has been an eventful week. For all past newsletters (and more), make sure to go to the blog at http://www.electreport.blogspot.com
Net Neutrality Repealed
In a highly publicized decision, the FCC voted this week to repeal net neutrality, the practice that ensures internet service providers do not give preferential treatment to certain websites. The vote, opposed by some 83% of American voters, is already being challenged by some state Attorneys General. Ajit Pai, FCC chairman and owner of a really big mug, has furiously defended their decision before and after the vote, saying it will increase competition and end with better service, but he has received a lot of criticism from a lot of people for this. We will see how the legal battle progresses.
Alabama Elects A Democrat
On Tuesday, Alabama, one of the most conservative states in the nation, voted by a margin of 49.9% to 48.4% to elect Democrat lawyer Doug Jones over controversial Republican judge and accused child molester Roy Moore. Jones inspired incredible Democratic turnout for an off-year election as Republicans generally failed to turn out for Moore, leading to a slim margin. Democratic turnout in Jefferson County, home of Birmingham, was 163% of what it was in 2014, the last off-year election in the state, whereas Republican turnout decreased in all but one county from 2014.
It is important to not give credit to any one factor in explaining this result - it was a combination of Moore’s unpopularity, his scandals, and Doug Jones’s strong campaigning. It is also, however, important to note each of these things. This election can be seen as a very strong argument against the past Democratic strategy in the Deep South, which was to run centrist or right-wing Democrats, who lost big because they didn’t attract Republicans or inspire Democrats to turn out. Jones was a genuine liberal, which seems to have gotten Democrats to turn out strongly for him.
Jones will enter office in January, and decrease the Republican Senate majority from 52-48 to 51-49, which could prove crucial on key votes in the future. It also means Democrats only need to win 2 elections in 2018 to gain a majority, which is a lot more realistic than winning 3, given the map. This election is a stunning victory for Democrats, for moral decency, and for the people of Alabama.
Thanks for reading, feel free to let me know what you think!