The formerly safe Republican seat of Alabama has been lost to Democrat Doug Jones in a high-octane twist in this Senate race. As the night progressed it seemed that the self-styled cowboy, Republican Roy Moore, despite the severe misgivings of the general public and the GOP itself due to revelations regarding his sexual conduct, might still win. However Jones pipped Moore to the post with a mere percentage point.
It was previously unthinkable that this deep-red state could lose out to a Democrat. Jones, best known as the prosecutor who jailed two klansmen after they blew up a church killing four African-American girls, carefully negotiated the fine line between appealing to the Democrat base promising better healthcare and education and engaging moderate Republicans who could not stomach Moore’s anti-gay, anti-Islam agenda along with the grim accusations from women accusing him of sexual harassment and child abuse.
The Democrat victory in Alabama is a huge embarrassment for President Trump who is blaming the write-in votes for the loss which are almost equal to the winning margin. A write-in candidate is a candidate whose name does not appear on the election ballot but for whom voters may vote for nonetheless by writing in the persons name. These are usually fictional. Republican Senator Richard Shelby from Alabama went on CNN Sunday to say that he couldn’t bring himself to vote for Roy Moore and would rather see a write-in win.
The slim Republican majority in the senate has now been cut to 51-49, which could affect the push for tax reform if the party does not pass legislation before Mr Jones takes his seat. With 100 per cent of the polls reporting, Jones had 49.9% of the vote, just ahead of Moore with 48.4%. Alabama state law calls for a recount if the victory margin is less than one-half of one percentage point. With all precincts reporting, Mr Jones leads by 1.5 percentage points, three-times what is required to seal his win.
Sources and further reading:
Democrat Doug Jones Defeats Roy Moore in Alabama Senate Race
Democrat Doug Jonesekes outs narrow victory over Republican Roy Moore in Alabama Senate Race
Donald Trump responds to Roy Moore’s humiliating election defeat: “The write-in votes played a very big factor”
Alabama Senate Race: Did Write-In Votes Give Doug Jones Victory Over Roy Moore?
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