By Steve Flowers
The 2020 race for the White House will culminate in less than three weeks on November 3rd. However, some experts are predicting the outcome will not be determined that night and there will be a protracted result due to the massive number of mail-in votes.
In fact, state officials in Pennsylvania are expecting controversy. The Keystone State is looking like ground zero for the presidential contest. It is one of the largest key battleground states, and it has obviously been the focus of the Biden Democratic presidential campaign.
Under the Electoral College System, there are six pivotal battleground states to watch on election night. The election will be decided in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and to a lesser degree in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona.
The proverbial October surprise in the presidential race occurred in late September. The passing of legendary liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg changed the entire dynamics of the 2020 Election. The opportunity for President Trump to appoint an outstanding accomplished, conservative, federal jurist to the high tribunal is significant to say the least.
Trump’s appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett is truly historical. If Barrett is confirmed this will change the entire ideology of the Court to a solid six-to-three conservative majority. Trump’s appointment of Barrett is even more pivotal than his previous Gorsuch and Kavanaugh appointments. In these two cases, you replaced conservatives with conservatives. With Barrett, you are replacing a woman with a woman but more importantly, you are replacing one of the most liberal judges in history with potentially one of the most conservative. From a political standpoint, this Supreme Court surprise is like manna from Heaven for Trump and the Republicans.
The pandemic was the issue prior to the Ginsburg/Barrett surprise. Trump was not going to win on that issue as the person in the White House. While he may not have caused the problem, voters must blame someone. The campaign focus briefly changed from COVID to the Supreme Court battle. However, Trump’s contraction of COVID redirected the campaign focus back to the pandemic. Things are changing so rapidly the Supreme Court hearings and ultimate vote for confirmation scheduled for the last week of October may refocus the campaign theme back to a partisan divide between the socially liberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans. It will illuminate the differences in the two parties. The philosophical chasm is deep and wide.
Which brings me to this point – the battle over control of the U.S. Senate is just as important as the presidential contest in this year’s election. President Trump could not have garnered three Supreme Court appointees without the confirmation by the majority-Republican Senate. Currently, Republicans have a slim 53 to 47 majority in the U.S. Senate. There are three Republican incumbent senators behind in polling and fundraising. The GOP is in serious jeopardy of losing seats in Colorado, Arizona, and Maine, in addition, Iowa and North Carolina are toss ups.
Your vote may not count for much in the presidential race. Trump wins in Alabama probably by a 60/40 margin. However, folks, I am here to tell you that your vote in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race is paramount for the State of Alabama. If the U.S. Senate flips from Republican to Democratic our iconic senior Senator Richard Shelby loses the Chairmanship of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and Alabama loses our power in Washington. Therefore, a vote for liberal Democrat Doug Jones is a vote against Richard Shelby and the State of Alabama.
The amount of federal money Richard Shelby brings home to Alabama as Chairman of Appropriations is unimaginable. He is Alabama’s number one economic engine. Our seven Congressmen combined do not have 10% of the influence as Senator Shelby.
Whereas Doug Jones is totally irrelevant when it comes to Alabama. His only relevance in the Senate is to be a pawn for the New York and California liberal Democrats. He has voted reliably with Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and along with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris. Indeed, Jones has voted so much like a Californian, most of his campaign money has come from the California Democrats. Actually, Jones is referred to in Washington as California’s third U.S. Senator.
Regardless of the fact philosophically Jones is the most liberal senator to sit in an Alabama senate seat in recent times, economically a vote for a Democrat could cost Alabama millions of federal dollars. Therefore, not only is a vote for Doug Jones a vote against Richard Shelby and the State of Alabama, if you work or benefit from UAB or Redstone Arsenal or any military facility in our state, you may be voting to cut your own throat.
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His weekly column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state legislature. Steve may be reached at www.steveflowers.us.