I want to warn everyone right off the bat that this is a fundamentally stupid post. Not only are the chances that Saban had enough votes to shift the outcome almost zero, but even if he did, Roy Moore would have cost himself the election by not convincing those voters to pencil in his name.
That said, I have to ask the question anyway: Did Nick Saban just pull a Ralph Nader on Moore?
First off, let’s look at the final results with all precincts reporting:
Doug Jones: 671,151 votes
Roy Moore: 650,436 votes
Write-Ins: 22,819 votes
So, quick math shows that the total number of write-ins (22,819) exceeds the margin by which Jones beat Moore (20,715). Additionally, it’s a pretty safe assumption that an overwhelming majority of the write-in votes were cast by Republican or Republican-leaning Alabamans who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for an alleged pedophile, but also were sure as hell not going to vote Democrat.
(Side note: The fact that were any write-in votes is pretty weird. It makes sense in a normal election, when you have to decide on various races and might not like the particular candidates for a specific office. But last night, Jones and Moore were the only game in town—there was no other race, no other referendum or proposition, nothing. Under those circumstances, why bother? Were they all last minute crises of conscience?)
Moore would’ve needed about 95.39 percent of the write-ins to go his way in order to win, and while that seems like a tall order, it’s hard to imagine any circumstance in which a potential Jones supporter would opt for the write-in. In other words, I don’t think it’s crazy to theorize that the write-ins played spoiler.
But I want to go a step further. I want to boldly ask the most hilarious question of all: Did Alabama head football coach Nick Saban cost Moore the election?
First, watch this guy:
He's not alone!
I was one of the 11,000. I also predicted Nick Saban would finish third in this election. https://t.co/6PJuXzX6Oo— Ryan Brown (@RyanBrownWJOX) December 13, 2017
Saban is a demigod in Alabama, where college football is king and the Crimson Tide are the state’s most beloved institution. He’s won four national titles since coming to the school, and he has a chance to win a fifth this season. He’s a living legend, and I’d be willing to bet anything that he earned more write-in votes last night than any other human being, from men just like the one in the video above.
The question is, did he earn 95.39 percent of those write-ins? Well…probably not. That’s high, even by Bama standards.
The second (and more important) question is, if we push this narrative hard enough, can we get Donald Trump to tweet something angry at Saban? Because folks, that’s my true end game here. I want to live in a world where a college football coach Naders a sex pervert, and our president gets mad online.
It’s 2017, and since we’re allowed to craft our own narratives with only a cursory nod at the truth, here’s mine: Alabama has its first democratic senator in 20 years, and it’s Nick Saban’s fault.