Two columns, each showing a different side of this month’s Senate results. (Links to full columns embedded in the headlines.)

Alabama’s Doug Jones was a bad fit from the start (Nov. 3):

Alabama just taught incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones the lesson that a superb campaign against an unimpressive opponent cannot make up for a senator consistently voting against his constituents’ views.

Jones was elected in a special election in a fluke when his Republican opponent, Roy Moore, got caught up in a scandal involving allegations of long-ago untoward advances toward teenage girls. Alabama is a heavily Republican, heavily conservative state. Jones is not just a Democrat, but a rather liberal one. He is especially liberal on abortion in an extremely pro-life state. He also voted against Trump’s judicial nominees Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett in a state that strongly supported both.

The gold standard of conservative ratings, the American Conservative Union, gives Jones just an 18% rating. So-called moderate Democrats usually rate in the 30s or low 40s. The liberal Americans for Democratic Action gives Jones a 75. That means he votes leftward 3 out of 4 times. That’s not moderate. The state’s conservative voters noticed. Jones doesn’t represent their views. Period….

Susan Collins pulls off huge victory for meritorious service (Nov. 4): The re-election victory of moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins in Democratic-leaning Maine is a testament to how quality of public service can overcome difficult political terrain. Collins’s opponent, Sara Gideon, called her to concede Wednesday afternoon.

Collins, who has never missed a vote, not once, in 24 years of Senate incumbency, is famously diligent both in constituent service and in deciding what position to take on every vote. Her colleagues know her as unfailingly cordial, persistently concerned about granular details of bills, and entirely trustworthy. Her voting record, usually right in the middle of the ideological spectrum, follows an internal logic and consistency that is discernible and admirable….


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