Democrat Doug Jones is expected to address his supporters Tuesday night after a stunning victory over Republican Roy Moore. You can watch his speech live above when it begins. You can read Heavy’s analysis of the Jones victory here.
The special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Senate garnered national attention as accusations of child molestation and inappropriate behavior by Moore were made by several women. Moore defeated interim Senator Luther Strange in the primary and opened up the possibility for Democrats to claim a Senate seat in the deeply red Alabama for the first time since 1992.
Moore, who was already a controversial candidate because of past statements about homosexuality, women and Muslims, maintained the support of President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee, while many other Republicans withdrew their support for him.
The race was key to Trump’s ability to follow through on his legislative agenda and have his nominees confirmed for key government positions and judicial seats, as Republicans currently hold a 52-48 majority. With Jones victory, the GOP majority dips to just 51-49.
Jones said Tuesday that voters had an opportunity to reject Moore, who was already ousted twice from his position as Chief Justice of the state’s Supreme Court, and stop an embarrassment to Alabama.
“In Alabama we have come so far with too many things, and there is saying: ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’ Alabama is not going to let that shame happen again,” Jones told reporters.
On Tuesday, Moore rode his horse, Sassy, to vote in his hometown of Gallant, telling reporters outside the polling place, that voters “ought to go out and vote their conscience, and we’ll have a tremendous turnout.” Moore had been quiet in recent days, spending the final weekend of the campaign out of state at the Army-Navy football game, according to The Hill.
Trump pushed his supporters to vote for Moore on Tuesday, tweeting, “The people of Alabama will do the right thing. Doug Jones is Pro-Abortion, weak on Crime, Military and Illegal Immigration, Bad for Gun Owners and Veterans and against the WALL. Jones is a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet. Roy Moore will always vote with us. VOTE ROY MOORE!”
Moore lost the support of the state’s other senator, Richard Shelby, also a Republican, who told CNN on Sunday that he did not vote for Moore when he submitted his absentee ballot.
“I’d rather see the Republican win, but I’d rather see a Republican write-in. I couldn’t vote for Roy Moore. I didn’t vote for Roy Moore,” Shelby said. “”(W)e call it a tipping point. I think, so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip, drip, drip — when it got to the 14-year-old’s story, that was enough for me. I said I can’t vote for Roy Moore.”
Some senators had called for the Senate’s Ethics Committee to investigate Moore if elected and to possibly expel him from his seat. GOP Senators planned to meet Wednesday morning to discuss the next steps if Moore wins.
“The Senate has to look at who’s fit to serve in the Senate,” Shelby told CNN.
The accusations might not have played a major role in the election, according to exit polls.
“Most voters casting ballots in Alabama’s special election for U.S. Senate say they decided on their candidate some time ago, according to early exit polling. Six in 10 made up their minds before November – largely prior to when allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Republican candidate Roy Moore. Still, nearly four in 10 say they made their decision in November or after that, including about one in five who decided this month,” CBS News says.
According to CBS, “Alabama voters divide on the validity of the allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against Moore. Just under half think they are true, while more than four in 10 think they are false. Most Jones voters believe the allegations, while most of Moore’s supporters do not. For roughly 40 percent of the voters, these allegations were an important factor in their vote Tuesday. More than six in 10 Jones supporters say they were an important factor, but about four out of five Moore backers they were not important.”
ABC News reports that exit polls show, “Trump manages only 48-48 percent approval-disapproval among voters in deep-red Alabama. And those who “strongly” disapprove of the president’s work in office outnumber strong approvers by 9 points, 41 percent to 32 percent.”
Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 28 points in Alabama in 2016.