On Tuesday, Alabama voters rejected Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. Despite long odds, Doug Jones became the first Democrat in 25 years to win a U.S. Senate seat within the state. President Trump’s support of a morally flawed candidate failed.
Inevitably, Moore drowned in the flood of multiple reports of sexual misconduct. A combination of strong voter turnout for Jones and weak turnout for Moore helped shape the results. Ultimately, Alabama decided they would rather a Democrat than a Republican of low moral character.
Recently, nine women had come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore. Four of those women said the misconduct occurred when they were teenagers. While Moore denied the accusations, doubt infected his campaign. Even fellow Republican and Alabama senior senator, Richard Shelly, condemned Moore. After he admitted not voting for Moore, he said:
“[the] Republican Party can do better.”
Despite internal opposition, Trump stood by Moore. By focusing on policy, the president chose party over ethics. Defending Moore, Trump asked voters to ignore allegations and help keep the Senate under GOP control. He said,
“The Pelosi/Schumer Puppet Jones would vote against us 100% of the time. He’s bad on Crime, Life, Border Vets, Guns & Military. VOTE ROY MOORE!”
As an attorney, Jones proved his worth. In 1963, he prosecuted KKK members responsible for the bombing of a Birmingham church that murdered four black girls. Strangely, Trump’s criticism conveniently ignored this fact.
Alabama voters did not.
In this regard, voter turnout played an essential role. Jones over preformed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 levels within essential metropolitan areas. Comparatively, Moore failed to produce turnout similar to Trump’s 2016 results. In Jefferson County, Jones outperformed Clinton by 16 percent. The senator-elect over preformed Clinton in Madison County by 18 percent. Furthermore, in Montgomery County Jones’ voter turnout exceeded Clinton’s by 10 percent.
In contrast, Moore constantly underperformed compared to Trump’s 2016 turnout. Within Republican stronghold Cullman County, Moore’s turnout was eight percent less than Trump’s. In rural Dale County, Moore received 10 percent less turnout than Trump’s 2016 result. Throughout the state, Moore failed to tally numbers comparable to Trump’s 2016 election victory.
In the end, Jones narrowly defeated Moore within a state viewed as reliably Republican. The democrat won 49.92 percent of the vote; Moore received 48.38 percent. Victory went to the candidate that energized his base and avoided sexual misconduct allegations.
Consequently, Republican embrace of objectionable conduct cost a long-held Senate seat. Now, the Republican advantage in the Senate fell to 51-49. This could make conservative legislative goals more difficult to attain in the future. At his victory speech, Jones said,
“This entire race has been about dignity and respect.”
However, Moore refused to concede. While claiming the authority of God, Moore rejected the results. He stated his want for a recount and asked his supporters to be patient.
Jones’ victory exceeded the total needed to trigger an automatic recount. However, Moore could choose to pay for a recount himself. Such an action is unlikely to produce significant results.
Whether Moore likes it or not, Jones legitimately won this close election.
Featured Image Via YouTube Video.