In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 27.85%. 13 months later, in a special election to replace Jeff Sessions, Roy Moore lost to Doug Jones by 1.5%. That is a 29.35 point swing in one of the most Republican states in the country. It is an unprecedented electoral shift. Doug Jones received 90% of Clinton’s vote total from 2016. Roy Moore received just 50% of Trump’s. Roy Moore did worse than Trump in every single county in Alabama.
This is not the first time Roy Moore has underperformed in a statewide election, although it is his largest and most consequential underperformance.
In 2012, Mitt Romney won Alabama by 22.19%. Roy Moore ran for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He won the general election by 3.7%. He underperformed Romney’s vote by 18.49%.
In 2000, George W Bush won Alabama by 14.91%. Roy Moore ran in his first statewide election for Chief Justice. He won by 9.4%, underperforming Bush by 5.5%.
In addition to those three general elections, Moore ran for Governor in 2006 and 2010. In 2006, he placed second in the primary with 33.3% of the vote. In 2010, he placed fourth in the primary with only 19.3% of the vote.
Roy Moore’s best performance in a statewide election in Alabama was seventeen years ago.