The decision from some national organizations to hold back could be a strategic one, but smaller, more grassroots groups on the left worry the party as a whole is squandering a unique moment to build out their infrastructure and communities in a deep red-state.
Staff at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee echoed the Minority Leader and told ABC News that if Jones asked for last-minute financial or volunteer help they could still step in. They added that, for now, his team was in good shape and had enough money, they said, to keep campaign ads on the air through next month’s highly-publicized special election.
Beth Clayton, the national committeewoman for Alabama Young Democrats, during a phone interview with ABC News, said she worried an influx of outside money could backfire.
“I think [Jones] has a fantastic chance, but I don’t know what the impact would be of national money coming in,” Clayton, who has been volunteering for Jones, told ABC News. “I think here in Alabama, people do not necessarily want people to feel like D.C. is coming in and telling them how to vote.”
“People here want to feel like it’s our election, it’s our decision. If people are seeing Chuck Schumer, well, that does not sell well down here. Those are not names people identify with,” she said.
The race in Alabama was already more competitive than expected.
With a strong candidate in Jones and Moore’s history of divisive, controversial statements, Democrats saw a possible — albeit, long-shot — path to victory, even before the allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore broke in the news last week.
Still, advisers working closely with the National Democratic Committee expressed concerns similar to Clayton’s.
One top Democratic adviser said while Jones may be closing a gap, an influx of formal party money now would unlikely be what ends up tipping this race.
Neil Sroka, the communications director at Democracy for America pushed back.
“I think that is an excuse for not investing in the race,” Sroka told ABC over the phone. “Sure, if it is just a bunch of DC hacks parachuting in and dropping a boat-load on ads, yes, that probably is not going to be super helpful, but that is not a reason to sit out the race, that is a reason to find new ways to support a race like the one Doug Jones is running.”
The group has been fundraising for Jones for months and said this past week only changed their sense of urgency.
Sroka argued that a rare competitive race like this one is an opportunity for the party to further enthuse and unite Democratic-leaning voters in the state.
“I think is a call for Democrats to do something different and actually invest money in the ground-game, not just for one election but for long term gains,” he added. “There are a whole lot of [Alabama] voters who have never been talked to, never been messaged to, never been encouraged to get out and vote and build power in their own communities.”
MoveOn.org, another national, left-leaning group, said they have 43,000 members in Alabama. Ben Wikler, the organization's Washington director, said the organization’s members from around the country have been making contributions to Jones’ campaign since he announced, but he stressed, “The volunteer energy from grassroots Alabamans will be the fundamental shoulder of this campaign.”
“Support for good candidates [running] against predatory, anti-constitutional demagogues is always a good thing, but this is fundamentally about a basic decision Alabama is going to make for itself,” Wikler said. “The most powerful knock on your door always comes from your neighbor. For MoveOn members around the country, the best thing they can do is text a friend in Alabama and make sure they know where to sign up to volunteer.”