When Alabama Republican Roy Moore was accused of sexually assaulting minors in his past, it provoked national outrage. While most Americans disavowed him immediately, among Republicans and Alabamians, the verdict was much less clear. The polls were close, and he was backed by many notable Republicans, including the president. Many people thought Doug Jones didn’t have a chance. Tonight proved them wrong.
Doug Jones has just won Alabama. This has pushed the Republicans’ Senate majority to only one seat, and it is the first time in two decades, that there has been a Democratic senator representing Alabama. While this win may be a single seat, it may pave the way to an imminent Democratic majority where Trump’s bills can be blocked, and bills that benefit the American people can be passed.
Sue Bell Cobb, a former chief judge of the Alabama Supreme Court, stated, “Never has there been this level of civic engagement… Never has it happened.”
Trump appears to be taking this win relatively well through his Twitter, tweeting, “Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!” Likely, he is trying to save face after backing an accused child molester.
Increased turnout and support from several key demographics contributed to Jones’s win. Black voter turnout was up to 30%, 2% higher than the 2012 election, with 96% of black voters supporting Doug Jones. He also had a lead in voter support from people ages 18-64 by 8 percentage points and a lead in college students by 12%. General turnout exceeded 35%, which is higher than anticipated.
Doug Jones also had significantly more funding raised — 12 million as compared to Moore’s 5 million. Jones also received full support from the Democratic establishment and many notable celebrities, such as Rosie O’Donnell, Jimmy Kimmel, Charles Barkley, and Alyssa Milano, who phone banked for him.
“This election wasn’t about right versus left, it was about right versus wrong. The people of Alabama sent a loud and clear message to Donald Trump and the Republican Party: you can’t call yourself the party of family values as long as you’re willing to accept vile men like Roy Moore as members,” – DNC Chairman, Tom Perez, commented.
Despite Moore’s obvious loss, he is refusing to concede, calling for a recount, “When the vote is this close . . . it’s not over,” he said. “What we’ve got to do is wait on God.” Regardless of his votes, recounts are only required when the vote is within 0.5%. Because it is not, Doug Jones will most likely be taking the seat once held by Jeff Sessions. Tonight is a proud night for Americans.