Alabama Senate race is even, but may be tilting against Moore [UPDATE: Jones Wins]

About 85 percent of the vote has been counted in the Alabama Senate race and only a few thousand votes separate the candidates. As I write this, Roy Moore is up by around 5,000 votes.

The counties that will deliver most of the as yet uncounted vote are said to be good ones for Doug Jones. That doesn’t mean the precincts in question are pro-Jones, but the smart money seems to be on the Democrat now.

UPDATE: Fox News has called the race for Jones. The GOP majority in the Senate now will be a razor thin 51-49. This will make it all the more difficult to pass the tax bill that emerges from conference and to confirm Republican judicial nominees, among other things.

To me, that’s the only reason to be unhappy about tonight’s result, but it’s a significant reason.

As for the blame game within the GOP, which has already commenced, I can argue it either way (or both ways): blame Bannon etc. for pushing Moore in the primaries; blame McConnell, etc. for not backing him once he was nominated.

The most straightforward assignation of fault, I believe, is to place it mainly on the forces that worked so hard to nominate Roy Moore. Flaky candidates are often problematic (see Todd Akin and Christine O’Donnell) and Moore always fit that description. His less than robust commitment to the rule of law was worrisome, or should have been.

President Trump made the right call when he worked to nominate Moore’s opponent.