|Moore in Midland City (Photo: Luke Sharrett, Bloomberg)|
The settings "evoked the cultural and political divide that’s come to define the two parties in modern America," Arit John reports for Bloomberg. The race will likely be decided "along the urban-rural lines that played a major role in last year’s presidential election and the votes are being cast amid shifting attitudes about sexual misconduct, intense partisanship and deep anti-establishment resentment in parts of the electorate." That narrative has been accentuated since President Trump stepped into the fray and stumped for Moore.
Many view the race as a lot more than one race between two candidates. The national parties (and most onlookers) see the race as a possible indicator for how the winds will blow in the 2018 midterm elections, especially since rural voters were critical to President Trump's success.
|Doug Jones (Photo: Birmingham Times)|
The race could also be construed as a referendum on the way rural residents view the news media. Many Alabama Republicans view the accusations against Moore to be a liberal hit job. Bannon, a vocal ally of Moore, said Moore is the victim of an orchestrated conspiracy between the mainstream media and establishment Republicans.
And finally, many view the race as an indicator of how seriously people are willing to take survivors of sexual harassment and assault. As we have reported, victims in rural areas may face additional obstacles because of limited access to support and resources.