Soak in the details of this paragraph from Joe Trippi, chief media strategist for Doug Jones' Senate campaign:
"The key to us having a chance was to detribalize the politics of the state. If Alabama was reacting to the tribal politics of our times, there was no way for us to win. And in a weird way, the allegations (against Roy Moore) created tribalism again. You either believe the charges or you don't believe the charges. Suddenly, we're back into Republicans who don't believe the charges; it's the media out to get Roy Moore. He's able to start tribalizing the race. (President) Trump begins coming in with him. And every time that happened, Roy Moore would open a lead."
That comes from this transcript of a podcast between Trippi and Ezra Klein of Vox.com, whose post-election talk centered on how the Jones campaign devised its media plan and polling results this fall. (Update: A judge refused Moore's legal attempt this morning to prevent certification of Jones' victory. Jones will be sworn in Jan. 3.)
Even if you're a staunch Republican and Moore supporter, it's nonetheless interesting to get inside the mind of Jones' campaign team as it watched the polls go back and forth in November and December. It's like talking to a coaching staff as it prepares for a big football game.
Here's more from Trippi:
"We'll never know if we could've won without the allegations. But we had a dead heat before that, and it was all based on their understanding of who Roy Moore was. Alabama knew who he was. And Doug Jones was the guy who took on the Klan, and wanted justice for everybody, and wanted to find common ground. We were in a dead heat in Alabama the day before the Washington Post story. We ended up winning a dead heat in Alabama on election day."
-- Phillip Tutor