Alabama voters will elect their next senator on Tuesday, and what was once expected to be an easy win for Republicans has turned into a statistical dead-heat between their candidate, Roy Moore, and Democrat Doug Jones. The polls close at 8 p.m. EST, and if you'd like to watch the Alabama election results in real-time, you have a few options.
As usual, most major news channels will be covering the election, so CNN, MSNBC, and the like are all good places to watch the results as they trickle in. CNN subscribers can also watch the results online via CNNGo, though you'll need your account information to do that.
If you don't have a cable subscription, you're not completely out of luck. A local Fox News affiliate in Phoenix will apparently be livestreaming the Alabama Senate results on its YouTube channel, and that's free to watch.
Those who would prefer to simply watch the results, rather than listen to them, can tune into any of the live blogs covering the race. There's one over at the Independent, and there's another from the Washington Post. Other political news sites will likely have some form of live blogging coverage of the race by the time the polls close on Tuesday night.
Lastly, the Alabama Secretary of State's website will have a running tally of the votes as they come in, though the results won't be officially certified until later. According to CNN, most voting precincts in the state are expected to report their results by 11 p.m. EST.
In normal circumstances, the outcome of an Alabama Senate race would quickly go to the Republican candidate. It's been 25 years since a Democrat won election to the Senate from Alabama, and that Democrat later became a Republican. The state voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by almost 30 points in 2016, and is generally considered one of the most reliably Republican states in the country.
But these are not normal circumstances. Although Moore held a steady lead in the beginning of the race, his support cratered after several women accused him of pursuing them sexually when they were minors. Moore has categorically denied the charges, insisting that "these allegations are completely false" and claiming to have had "no encounter" with any of the women who've accused him.
Since those accusations were published, however, the race has been neck-and-neck; Moore currently holds a small average lead in the polls, according to RealClearPolitics, though some experts have cautioned not to put too much faith in Alabama polling this year. Either way, it's shaping up to be a nail-biter.
"Jones needs two things to go right for him," Nate Silver wrote at FiveThirtyEight the day before the election. "He needs a lopsided turnout in his favor, and he needs pretty much all of the swing voters in Alabama (and there aren’t all that many of them) to vote for him."
A Jones victory would be enormous, and not just because he's a Democrat from Alabama. Republicans currently hold a slim majority of 52 seats in the Senate, which gives them almost no margin for error in passing contentious legislation. If Jones wins, it would make it substantially harder for Senate Republicans to pass high-profile bills that Democrats oppose — such as the tax reform bill, which is soon headed for a final vote in Congress.