Last Push in the Wiregrass: Why Roy Moore Is Spending Election Eve in Southeast Alabama

Alabama Highways, Official Highway Map, State of Alabama, 1936
Alabama Department of Archives and History

DOTHAN, Alabama — The night before what will perhaps be the most nationally significant election in the 198-year history of the state of Alabama, U.S. Senate hopeful Roy Moore will be hosting a rally at Jordan’s Activity Barn in Midland City, AL, deep in the heart of Alabama’s Wiregrass region.

That region, which stretches beyond the state boundaries into Georgia and Florida, is named for the type of grass native to the area that can grow underneath a canopy of pine trees and is located around Alabama’s largest southeastern city of Dothan.

Of Alabama’s five designated-market areas, the Wiregrass’ Dothan is by far the smallest in population. But it is also where Moore had the strongest showing in his September runoff against incumbent Luther Strange. Moore’s outdid Strange in the vote tally by a 2-to-1 margin in the Dothan market.

That was also similar to the 2016 presidential election, where Donald Trump outperformed Hillary Clinton by 2-to-1 as well.

Given those numbers, it is the most Republican part of conservative Alabama. It is where Moore will have to have a clear sizable portion of the vote if he is to come out ahead on Tuesday.

Monday night, Moore will rally many of those voters as part of a final get-out-the-vote effort that will include appearances from Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and former Milwaukee County, WI Sheriff David Clarke.

The area is often overlooked by politicians running for statewide office, but according to a report from Dothan ABC affiliate WDHN, locals welcome Moore to their area.

“I think he would be an excellent representation for this area,” a woman told WDHN.

WDHN’s Devero Bogart described tonight’s event as “one final battle cry” for Moore.

“On Monday night, the eve of the election that has been receiving national attention, Moore will be rallying his supporters in Midland City for one final battle cry,” Bogart wrote.

Moore faces off against Democratic opponent Doug Jones. Although late polling has been trending in Moore’s direction, it has been wildly mixed. The Real Clear Politics average of the polls gives Moore a 2.5 percent advantage headed into tomorrow.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor