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In Surprise Upset, Democrat Doug Jones Defeats Republican Roy Moore In Alabama Senate Race

by Sanders Jett-Folk

Late Tuesday night, Democrat Doug Jones was announced as the surprise winner of the highly anticipated election for deep-red Alabama’s vacant Senate seat, defeating Republican Roy Moore. [1]

For the majority of the race, Moore was the favorite to win the election, as no Democrat has held a Senate seat for Alabama since Richard Shelby, who has since switched to the Republican Party, won in 1992. [2]

On November 9th, The Washington Post published a story that detailed sexual assault allegations made against Roy Moore, detailing that he initiated a sexual encounter with a 14 year old when he was 32. At the time, Moore was an assistant district attorney in Alabama. [3] Days later, another accusation came out, alleging that Moore forced himself on a 16 year old woman while he was a district attorney. [4]

After the allegations came out, many top Republicans, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Jeff Flake and Senator John McCain actively spoke out against Moore. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, gave Moore a full endorsement. [5]

Since the allegations came out, poll numbers significantly fluctuated, and by election day, polls ranged from Jones winning by 10% to Moore winning by 9%. [6]

Results came in slowly over the course of the night, starting at 8pm when polls closed. Doug Jones came out on top in a surprising upset, winning with 1.5% of the vote more than Moore. Jones was able to rake up high margins in cities and the “black belt” that made up the minority and educated areas of the state. Minority turnout was higher than expected, with Jones winning the vast majority of those votes. [7]

In his victory speech, Jones sent a message of unity to the state of Alabama. He declared in his speech that “I have always believed that the people of Alabama have more in common than to divide us. We have shown not just around the state of Alabama but we have shown the country the way that we can be unified.” [8]

Soon after, Moore made a brief speech where he declared his intention to attempt to initiate a recount, stating that “It’s not over” and that “what we’ve got to do, is wait on God and let this process play out.” [9]

Junior Danny Morris commented “While I am a Republican, Moore would have been a disgrace to the party. I’m glad that he lost; the allegations against him were too severe.”

Sophomore Jason Escobar said “I think Moore should’ve won. There was no proof of the allegations against him. He would’ve been the best choice.”

Junior Joe Hansen said “I’m very happy to see that Moore lost. No one with those sort of allegations against them should be in the Senate.”

Democrats scored a much-needed win that could potentially shift the balance of Congress as Americans look towards the 2018 midterm elections.

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/12/us/politics/alabama-senate-race-winner.html

[2] https://transition.fec.gov/pubrec/fe1992/federalelections92.pdf

[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/woman-says-roy-moore-initiated-sexual-encounter-when-she-was-14-he-was-32/2017/11/09/1f495878-c293-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/us/politics/text-beverly-young-nelson-statement.html

[5] http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/12/politics/republicans-roy-moore/index.html

[6] https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2017/senate/al/alabama_senate_special_election_moore_vs_jones-6271.html

[7] https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/alabama-senate-special-election-roy-moore-doug-jones

[8] http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/12/politics/speech-doug-jones/index.html

[9] http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/13/politics/roy-moore-speech/index.html