HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Doug Jones (D) talked defense, voter fraud, and abortion in a gaggle with reporters following a lively campaign stop at a phone bank in Huntsville.
Representative Anthony Daniels, who serves in the Alabama Legislature as House Minority Leader, joined Jones on the campaign stop.
Jones said he is proud of the hundreds of volunteers who are a big part of his bid for U.S. Senate, thanking them for their hard work.
These volunteers are important in Jones' effort to show voters who he is and what he stands for. He told the group Thursday that the campaign has mobilized 15-20,000 volunteers like them around the state to knock on more than 100,000 doors. By December 12, Jones believes his team will have placed 1 million phone calls statewide.
Jones again got on the line, telling one potential voter that he believes he and his team are "changing so many hearts and so many minds. We're going to make this happen on December 12, thanks to folks like you."
Later, Jones told reporters he wanted to stress his commitment to the military and defense while in Huntsville, especially in light of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
"I want to make sure the United States of America has the strongest, best-equipped military in the world," he stated. "I want to make sure that we've got the best personnel, the best hardware, the best software, and everything else to keep our military strong. It's important for this country. It's important for the people of Huntsville, Alabama and the people of this area."
He said it is also critical in keeping and recruiting defense and contracting jobs in Huntsville.
Jones also discussed abortion, which is a nationally divisive topic captivating people during Jones' race against Roy Moore.
"Look, my stance on that is well-known, it has been clarified. It has been misinterpreted over time," said Jones. "But you know what? People are going to vote on the issues of the day. If that's their issue, that's their issue." He then moved the conversation to his health care, which he said is important to him.
Jones was also asked to comment on a recent letter the Roy Moore campaign released, asking Alabama Secretary of State, John Merrill to bring to his attention potential voter fraud across Alabama ahead of the December 12 election. In the letter, the Moore campaign cites concerns about sample ballots in Bullock County and calls security into question.
Jones stated, "Every time somebody gets behind and they're going to lose an election, they start screaming, 'Voter fraud.' It's bizarre to me. Look, Alabama has done an incredible job," he said. "The question is not fraud. The question is making sure people have access to the ballot box. We want to make sure there's not any voter suppression going on. There isn't going to be voter fraud."
For Jones, this is about "kitchen table" issues. It's a common theme in his speeches, in which he makes sure to explain what he believes about major issues like Medicare and Medicaid, jobs, and education. Jones often expresses that he likes to say similar things to groups, regardless of where he is speaking, because he wants them all to hear a common message.
He maintains that he remains confident he will win.
"You can work together. You can cross party lines. You can reach out and you can find common ground. And the message is going to be to Washington, let's get things done," he said.
But WHNT News 19 analysts have said that black voters are going to be key in this election and will be critical if Jones wants to accomplish that.
Reporters asked Rep. Daniels about whether black voters are getting what they need from the candidates and feeling energized to hit the polls.
"Right now, I don't know that you saw energy in the African-American community even when Obama ran before they got to the polls. So I don't know if there's something out there that points to whether the energy is high or low," commented Daniels. "I don't think there's a way, a visual, that's out there that can tell you whether they're energized or not."
This could be a problem, or a blessing, for the Jones campaign on Election Day.
Daniels said he believes Jones is the man for the job, and that he is going across the state to help Jones campaign.
"We have to focus more on issues and stay out of the divisiveness," he said.
But Daniels said the energy the Jones campaign is igniting can be promising for Democrats in the future, as they look past Election Day and toward 2018.
"This campaign gives us an opportunity to build an infrastructure for the future," he said, remarking that there are scenarios in which Democrats can win in Alabama. "The base is not energized unless a presidential candidate is on the ballot, and the president is not on the ballot in 2018. In fact, the President's approval rating has dipped in Alabama. And so, for me, there's always an opportunity."