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The Point's worst candidate of 2017

For every good campaign, it seems like there are three bad ones. This past year was no different.Below, I chos...

Posted: Jan 1, 2018 9:36 AM
Updated: Jan 1, 2018 9:36 AM

For every good campaign, it seems like there are three bad ones. This past year was no different.

Below, I chose the absolute bottom of the barrel -- the worst candidate in a year filled with mediocrity. I also gave a few dishonorable mentions for candidates who were bad, but not the worst.

WINNER: Roy Moore

Many people will look back at Moore's loss in Alabama -- one of the most Republican-friendly states in the country -- as solely the result of a series of accusations from women that he had pursued sexual relationships with them whien they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. And, there's little question that the allegations -- first published in The Washington Post -- changed the race between Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.

But lost in that analysis is the fact that Moore was a weak candidate long before these allegations finally doomed him. In his long history of running for office in Alabama -- wins and losses -- Moore consistently underperformed the baseline Republican vote.

He had his hardcore supporters, without doubt, but he also turned lots and lots of Republicans off with the brand of in-your-face social conservatism he made his calling card.

And Moore refuses to compromise -- on any position -- or adjust his campaign strategy one iota. Every campaign he runs is the same campaign -- no matter the office he is seeking or the election year in which he is running. He surrounds himself with a very small cadre of total "yes" men and women and refuses to take advice from anyone not in that tiny group.

That obstinance -- and stuck-in-the-past-ism -- doomed Moore this time around. In the face of very serious allegations against him, Moore simply said "I didn't do it" and dared anyone to not believe him. He offered zero proof to rebut the varying allegations from eight women -- none of whom knew one another and all of whom told very similar stories about how Moore approached them and what he was after. For people looking for a reason to believe Moore, he offered nothing beyond his initial denial.

While Moore might have lost regardless, the relative narrowness of his defeat -- 22,000 votes or so -- suggests that an attempt to come to terms with the accusations in some sort of professional campaign manner might have made a difference. Short of acknowledging the allegations and offering up a mea culpa -- which Moore would have never done -- he could have sat for an interview with a major media outlet in the state. Or offered up a more fulsome explanation of why so many women accused him of pursuing relationships with them when they were teenagers. Or done almost anything other than what he did.

It's very, very hard for a Republican to lose a Senate race in Alabama -- as evidenced by the fact that no one had done so in 25 years. Roy Moore did it. Which makes him a lock for the worst candidate of 2017.

Dishonorable Mentions

* Jon Ossoff: The Georgia Democrat raised more than $30 million for his bid to claim Georgia's 6th district. Then he lost. And he didn't just lose -- he barely overperformed Hillary Clinton in the swing, suburban Atlanta seat. (Ossoff got 48%; Clinton got 47%.) The truth, which Democrats acknowledged even before Ossoff lost, was that he was a wooden candidate on the stump who let his residency -- he lived just outside the district's lines -- become the sole issue for lots of voters in the race.

* Greg Gianforte: Yes, I know Gianforte won the special election for Montana's lone House seat. But his body-slam of a reporter days before the election -- and his campaign's attempts to cast blame on the reporter -- speak to something more elemental (and concerning) about Gianforte's personality.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 61006

Reported Deaths: 738
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby13423223
Davidson13162143
Rutherford352539
Hamilton330538
Sumner189756
Williamson170816
Knox15919
Trousdale15085
Out of TN138410
Wilson114817
Putnam10117
Bradley9594
Robertson92413
Sevier9153
Unassigned9102
Montgomery7327
Lake6970
Tipton6967
Bledsoe6291
Bedford6239
Macon5977
Hamblen4724
Maury4543
Hardeman4114
Fayette3685
Madison3522
Blount3403
Loudon3322
Rhea3150
Dyer2913
McMinn27619
Cheatham2693
Washington2610
Dickson2580
Lawrence2326
Cumberland2134
Sullivan2104
Anderson1952
Jefferson1821
Lauderdale1804
Gibson1771
Monroe1556
Greene1512
Smith1502
Coffee1410
Cocke1360
Hardin1257
Warren1230
Obion1192
Haywood1183
Franklin1163
Marshall1152
Wayne1150
Carter1031
Giles1031
Hickman1030
McNairy1011
Marion944
Hawkins862
Lincoln860
DeKalb850
White853
Roane810
Overton721
Henderson710
Weakley701
Campbell691
Claiborne680
Grundy652
Chester630
Unicoi590
Grainger560
Polk550
Carroll521
Crockett523
Henry510
Cannon490
Sequatchie490
Jackson470
Johnson460
Humphreys392
Meigs380
Perry370
Morgan311
Decatur270
Fentress260
Scott260
Stewart260
Union250
Moore210
Clay200
Houston200
Benton151
Hancock110
Lewis110
Van Buren90
Pickett70

 

 

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