It’s the reddest of red states, but the red flowing in Alabama’s political streets today is the blood of the Republican Party. In a close, hotly contested race, Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Judge Roy Moore on Tuesday, sending political shockwaves through the country. Alabama hasn’t sent a Democrat to the US Senate in a quarter century, and Jones’ election sends a clear message of discontent, not just with the twice-removed former Alabama Chief Justice Moore, but with President Donald Trump himself.
In a state which Trump considers among the most loyal of his base, where he crushed Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 28 points, The Donald has twice been gob-smacked by conservative voters over the course of this special election cycle, first in the primary run-off, where his preferred, endorsed candidate, Luther Strange, was beaten by Moore, and now in the general election, with Moore going down in flames. Even after strongly endorsing Moore, which like Trump himself has been accused of a plethora of sexual misconduct acts, going so far as to record a robo-call in his support, Trump was unable to carry his candidate across the finish line, and may have contributed materially to his defeat.
Moore was a divisive candidate long before accusations of child molestation emerged in November. His defiance of federal judicial orders, first to remove a granite monolithic statue of the Ten Commandments from courthouse grounds, and then instructing Alabama registrars not to honor same-sex marriage applications, made him the darling of Dominionist fundamentalist Christians across the nation, but did not endear him to Alabamans. Moore came in fourth in a GOP gubernatorial primary, and barely defeated the Democrat in his second bid for Chief Justice in 2012, underperforming Mitt Romney by 20 points that same year. His stances on homosexuality (which he declared should be illegal), Muslims (which he said should not be allowed to serve in Congress), the 9-11 Attacks (which he said were a punishment from God for our “perversity”), his apparent nostalgia for slavery, and his contention that the nation would be better off if we’d left the Constitution alone after the first ten Amendments (despite the fact that subsequent Amendments ended slavery and granted women the right to vote), made him a controversial throw-back to the worst excesses of the Old South.
And still, Doug Jones only beat him by a meager margin of 1.5%, showing the entrenched nature of GOP support in the state. Moore refuses to concede defeat, waiting on the counting of absentee and military ballots, which he hopes will lower Jones’ victory margin to .5%, thus triggering an automatic recount. Moore’s campaign chair addressed supporters Tuesday night: “At this point, we do not have a final decision on the outcome tonight. When the vote is this close, it is not over.”
But effectively, it is, whether Moore concedes today, tomorrow, or never. And this is not just Moore’s loss. Moore was hand-picked by former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who supported him from the earliest days of the campaign, while Mr. Trump supported his opponent. Bannon came to campaign for Moore personally on at least four occasions, attempting to rally voters, to no avail. Trump jumped on the Moore bandwagon when others in the GOP establishment were jumping off, came to rally support in the Alabama-adjacent media market of Pensacola, and recorded a robo-call for Moore. With the election of Jones, Democrats pick up another seat in the Senate, trimming the Republican majority to a very slender margin of 1, although it can be argued that Moore’s loss was a long-term victory for the GOP, who will not now have to defend an accused child molester Senator at every turn.
But mostly, it was a loss for Donald Trump. Rejected by his base in two successive elections in Alabama, where his choices have gone down to defeat, he has been thoroughly humiliated. Exit polling shows that, while his approval rating in the state is still 10-15 points higher than in the country at large, he is now underwater with Alabamans, who disapprove of his job performance by 52% to 48%. The resulting razor-thin GOP Senate majority means there is virtually no wiggle room for Trump in passing his legislative agenda, which has already come to grief on the rocks of moderate Republican recalcitrance, and Jones’ victory effectively puts the Senate in play for 2018, making it conceivable the Democrats could take control. A Democratic majority in the House of Representatives after the Mid-Term elections seems likely, and if Dems own both Houses, Trump’s impeachment is a certainty. In going all-in for a fellow sex offender, Trump may have put yet another nail in the coffin of his presidency.
The Associated Press called the race for Jones at 10:23 PM EST, but I have set a chart for the corresponding time of 9:23 PM CST in Montgomery, Alabama’s capital, as an event of statewide importance. This gives a 23 Leo Ascendant, which exactly squares Moore’s (born 11 February 1947) natal asteroid Roy at 23 Scorpio, and puts the 23 Aquarius Descendant conjunct transit Damocles, the doom hanging unseen overhead, at 21 Aquarius, itself exactly conjunct Moore’s natal Sun. Also here is asteroid Whitehouse at 25 Aquarius, showing the centrality of this result to the Oval Office’s position. But it is Jones’ (born 4 May 1954) Pluto that is activated by the Ascendant, at 22 Leo, increasing his personal power, while simultaneously opposing Moore’s Sun and bringing on the devastating loss. This same Ascendant conjoins Trump’s (born 14 June 1946) natal Mars/Ascendant at 26 and 29 Leo, showing how personally these results affect him, regarding how he is seen by others.
The 18 Taurus MC conjoins Jones’ natal Sun at 13 Taurus, and squares his natal asteroid Jones at 14 Aquarius, doubly impacting him personally, illustrating career concerns and giving a boost to status and reputation for the successful Democrat. The exact opposition from transit Jupiter at 13 Scorpio to Jones’ natal Sun was one of the contributing factors to this win, that indefinable quality of “luck.” For Moore the 18 Taurus MC squares a natal Mars/Sun conjunction at 13 and 21 Aquarius, and opposes natal asteroid America at 19 Scorpio; the entire country (America) was intent upon this campaign (Mars) and stood in judgment on his character (Sun). Transit Jupiter’s exact square to Moore’s natal Mars drew even greater attention to the sexual misconduct issue, inflating the situation and interjecting politics, Jupiter-ruled. For Trump, the 18 Taurus MC highlights his natal asteroid Lie at 17 Taurus, highlighting his precarious relationship with the truth, and squares Icarus at 19 Aquarius, a point representing rash, reckless actions heedless of the consequences, like staunchly backing an accused child molester and failing to consider how his loss will affect Trump’s own political standing.
The Moon at 24 Libra was just minutes from opposing Uranus at 24 Aries exactly, and formed a T-Square with transit asteroid Douglas at 25 Cancer. This shows unexpected (Uranus) public (Moon) support for Jones (Douglas), and an upset win (also Uranus). The Moon was an exact match for Jones’ natal Neptune, bringing a long-cherished dream to fruition, and in square to his Uranus at 19 Cancer, again emphasizing that quality of shock or surprise. The Moon was making no significant aspect in Moore’s chart, but pulled in Trump’s natal Saturn/Venus at 23 and 25 Cancer (where transit Douglas was); this shows women (both Moon and Venus) as instrumental in his own career (Saturn), likely as a potential hindrance (Saturn also), and in fact women in Alabama went for Jones by 58%, squelching Moore’s candidacy and Trump’s reputation. Asteroid Douglas here shows Doug Jones as the focus of this potential, a sort of human lighting rod to catalyze its manifestation.
As we have noted in earlier articles on this election, a classic reading of the PNAs on the day did point to a Jones win, with asteroid Jones at 25 Sagittarius conjoined both the Sun (bringing visibility and vitality)-Mercury (the vote itself) pairing at 21 Sagittarius and asteroid Senator (the job in play) at 17 Sagittarius. But the skies don’t call all the shots – facts on the ground have to be considered also, and Alabama’s deep Republican roots made even the best celestial set-up for a Democrat, a jump ball at best.
Roy Moore is encumbered by transit asteroid Roy, which at 3 Capricorn conjoins asteroid Askalaphus exactly, as well as Saturn and Washingtonia, at 29 Sagittarius and 1 Capricorn, and asteroid Achilles, at 10 Capricorn. Askalaphus represents tale-bearing, the revealing of secrets, surely a major factor in this story. As flawed a candidate as he was, without the child molestation accusations, Moore would likely be packing his bags for Washington today. Washingtonia and Saturn argue for a job (Saturn) in the federal (Washingtonia) government (Saturn), but Saturn ultimately ended up acting as a denier of success. Achilles represents an inherent weakness or vulnerability, one which threatens to destroy the native, and we need look no further than Roy’s square to TNO Salacia at 1 Aries to define what this vulnerability was – sex and scandal (Salacia is the root of our word “salacious”). Asteroid Moore at 3 Taurus feeds into this grouping by trine, further anchoring Moore to its energies. It also opposes transit Mars at 2 Scorpio, further reinforcing the sexual angle.
And what of Trump? Transit asteroid Troemper at 23 Virgo is squaring his natal Sun at 22 Gemini, as well as transit Chiron at 24 Pisces, while opposing the transit Sun/Mercury and asteroid Jones, at 21 and 25 Sagittarius, forming a Grand Cross over all. This suggests a wounding (Chiron) for Trump personally (Troemper, natal Sun), based in the vote (Mercury) and day’s events (transit Sun), propelled by Doug Jones (Jones). Any lingering doubts about Roy Moore’s lasting effect on Trump’s future may be dispelled by a review of his PNA’s in the President’s chart. Natal asteroid Roy at 29 Leo exactly conjoins Trump’s Ascendant, powerfully affecting how others see him – after his dual snubs by rock-ribbed Republican voters in Alabama, Trump’s ability to threaten or cajole GOP Party members to his will is seriously reduced, if not eliminated. Natal asteroid Moore at 4 Capricorn is an exact match for Trump’s natal asteroid Whitehouse, stunningly portraying the venue for where his association with Moore impacts him the most.
Trump’s tenuous grasp on his presidency is slipping further, and his endorsement of Roy Moore just greased the ropes.