December 11, 2017

The Morning Joe crew didn't make predictions about tomorrow's special election in Alabama, writing Doug Jones off as a non-factor but talking about the possible effect of Sen. Richard Shelby in his non-endorsement.

"It's really all about Roy Moore, the entire race. I think it's a gamble. This guy could be his colleague in few weeks or months. It's rare you see that kind of attack when the odds are against you. That's why I thought it was brave," John Heilemann said.

"I think it's a strong statement by Shelby. He has just been reelected in 2016. He won with 65% of the vote. He consistently wins about 26% of the vote in that state. He's pretty politically secure in his position in Alabama. Not to in any way diminish the fact he's trying to make a strong statement. the only modified comment a little bit in terms of bravery.

"He's the kind of Republican who would speak to the kind of voters that Jones needs. Because the African American voters are not going to be enough. He can turn them out as we talked about earlier. Barack Obama turned out historic, record numbers of African Americans in 2008 and 2012, but he still got 38% of the vote in Alabama. You need a big black turnout for jones to win. But that's not going to be enough. It's going to be a bunch of white Republicans who are going to need to switch parties basically and vote for Jones, and Shelby's the kind of person who sends an important signal to them," Heilmann said.

"Should Doug Jones eke out a victory in the Deep South weeks after the Democrats made gains in the south in Virginia, this now becomes a tighter Senate," Robert Costa said.

"The president's political credibility with his own party is on the line. If the president can't pull Moore over, even with all of moore's controversies, he's going to face a real crisis within the Republican party, my sources tell me. He went there in the robo call, the rally in Pensacola. he has put himself into the center of the political calculation of whatever happens tomorrow."

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