We begin today’s show in Alabama, where in a stunning upset Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in the controversial race to fill the Alabama Senate seat left vacant by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. With 100 percent of the vote tallied, Jones led Moore by nearly 21,000 votes, a margin of 1.5 percentage points. Jones addressed supporters in a victory speech Tuesday night.
Sen.-elect Doug Jones: “At the end of the day, this entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign has been about the rule of law. This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency, and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which ZIP code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life.”
Jones’s victory marks the first time in 25 years that a Democrat has won a U.S. Senate race in Alabama. Tuesday’s special election was highly controversial, pitting Doug Jones against Roy Moore—an accused pedophile with a long history of racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia. Roy Moore has so far refused to concede the race, and on Tuesday night called for a recount. But President Donald Trump, who had repeatedly endorsed Roy Moore, did acknowledge Moore’s defeat, 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!”
Tuesday’s vote was highly divided by race and gender, with African-American voters, particularly women, largely responsible for defeating Roy Moore. Overall, 96 percent of African-American voters voted for Doug Jones, with a staggering 98 percent of all black women voters voting for Jones. In contrast, nearly 70 percent of white voters voted for Roy Moore. A full 63 percent of white women voted for Moore, despite Moore being accused by multiple women of sexually harassing or assaulting them when they were teenagers. Democratic strategist Symone Sanders, who served as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s press secretary during his presidential campaign, said, “Doug Jones would not have won today without the turnout we saw from African-American voters. … Black women have been absolutely clear in their support for Democratic policies and Democratic candidates. It’s high time for Democrats to invest in that effort.” Doug Jones’s victory means the Republicans’ majority in the Senate will narrow to 51-49.
We’ll have more on the Alabama special election after headlines.