- The Washington Times - Monday, December 30, 2019

Sen. Doug Jones rose to political power in 2018 to become the first Democrat U.S. senator to be elected from Alabama in 25 years, in a state that also voted for Donald Trump for president by almost 28 percentage points in 2016.

And his journey down is about to take place just as rapidly.

He’s a Democrat beholden to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a state that demands his loyalties — mostly — to conservatism. Impeachment looms. His reelection looms. His face-off against the likes of the still-popular Jeff Sessions, former senator and attorney general, and the beloved ex-Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville looms. And both Sessions and Tuberville are leading him in the polls.

On one hand — on a Pelosi hand, no doubt — the question is: Well, what have you got to lose, Doug? Vote for impeachment and go down with the Democrats on your side.

On the other hand — on Jones‘ hand — the question is more: Oh my gosh, what do I do?



Here’s a clue: JMC Analytics found 54% of Alabama’s registered voters believe Trump deserves to be reelected, compared to 42% who do not.

Another clue: JMC Analytics also found 54% of Alabama’s registered voters oppose the impeachment of Trump; 39% support.

And yet one more clue: Only 34% of registered Alabama voters, in this same JMC Analytics poll, believe Jones should be reelected. Fully 48% said he should not be reelected; another 18% were undecided.

It would seem a key to Jones‘ next move lies in those undecideds.

But it doesn’t. Not really. His entire election to the Senate was an anomaly, brought on by the national attention shed on disgraced special election opponent, the accused sexual harasser Roy Moore.

Jones said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that he’s undecided on impeachment, that he simply wants a “fair trial,” and that it’s imperative “all the facts” get into the public’s eye.

“I’m trying to see if the dots get connected,” he said.

“If those dots aren’t connected and there are other explanations that I think are consistent with innocence, I will go that way, too,” Jones said.

All that’s code for: I’m waiting to see how my personal political chips fall.

Watch and see. Jones will vote with Democrats on this — he’ll have to if he wants any sort of money-making career, or prestige, post-politics. His Senate seat is doomed; he’s not going to win reelection against candidates such as Sessions or Tuberville — against Tuberville whose 20-year coaching career included an undefeated Auburn team in 2004.

So he has to hunker and prepare for the next-best.

And next-best to the Senate, for Jones, means keeping on the good side of the Democratic Party.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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