Democrat Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in Alabama’s special Senate election Tuesday night. The ugly race dominated political news coverage for months, and frankly we’re glad it’s over. But the results (and the lead-up) are notable for a number of reasons. Here are five of the biggest takeaways from the election and Jones’ victory.
Black Voters Won the Election
The significance can’t be overstated or repeated enough. At final tally, 97 percent of black women and 92 percent of black men voted for Doug Jones. Black voter turnout was also “unusually high,” which can also be read as historically strong. As former NBA star and Alabamian Charles Barkley noted, the demographic results should provide a clear message to Democrats to stop taking black votes for granted.
The Republican Party is as Depraved as Ever
Don’t get caught up on the fairweather Jones endorsements from a few Republican politicians—the RNC re-endorsed a candidate after he had allegations of predatory behavior towards children, made pro-slavery comments and said homosexual behavior should be outlawed. The GOP stooped lower than it has in, well, like, a year and a half. Still, the party and the politicians who represent it should be forced to own this for the rest of time. Each should face questions about what they did when Roy Moore was accused of preying on teenage girls. Something tells me they will be, but that same thing tells me it might not matter.
Journalism Still Matters
The Washington Post provided the initial story about allegations against Roy Moore. That story had 30 sources who all corroborated Moore’s shady behavior (but sure, yeah, Fake News). Given the margin of victory, it’s fair to say that without this groundbreaking report (or the loads of coverage that followed from various outlets), Moore would be Senator-elect today.
Pro-Choice Candidates Can Win
Democrats were afraid to tout their pro-choice ideals in a predominantly pro-life state. Once the allegations against Roy Moore came to light, Republicans attempted to paint Jones as an abortion-loving miscreant. In fairness, it was the only attack they had left to defend their (alleged) child-cruising, tiny cowboy hat-wearing, Jew attorney-hiring candidate. And while running against an under-qualified teenage dreamer helped, it’s big that a Democrat who openly promoted his pro-choice views came away with the W. That said…
An Alleged Child Molester Was Almost Elected Senator
After all the accusations and revelations about Roy Moore, he still came within one percentage point of winning. Some of that speaks to Alabama’s loyalty to the Republican Party. But, as we mentioned, that’s the party that re-endorsed an accused child molester when it became politically convenient. Perhaps pedophilia is where voters draw the line, but given the margins, it’s a pretty thin one. Not every race will feature a Republican as uniquely terrible as Roy Moore.