Roy Moore Refuses to Concede Alabama Race; African-Americans, Women Carry Jones to Victory

by December 13, 2017

Republican Roy Moore refuses to concede the Alabama Senate raise, hinting he could ask for a recount.

Late Tuesday night, Moore said, It’s not over and it’s going to take some time. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Let’s go home, we’ll take it on tomorrow.”

In a stunning conclusion to a contest that received international attention, Democrat Doug Jones is the apparent winner over Republican Roy Moore in the Senate race in this deeply conservative state, according to an NBC News projection.

It took an extraordinary alignment of events, including a sex scandal involving teenagers, for Alabamians to elect their first Democrat to the Senate in 25 years, but they triggered a political earthquake that will be felt far and wide.

With 99 percent of the vote in, Jones was leading 50-48 percent, or 673,236 votes to 652,300 votes — a margin of more than 20,000.

However, Moore refused to concede Tuesday night, telling supporters in Montgomery that he may pursue a recount.

“It’s not over,” Moore said. “That’s what we’ve got to do, is wait on God and have this process play out.”

The current margin appears too large for an automatic recount, which is triggered under state law if the candidates are separated by less than half a percentage point, but Moore could call for a recount if he’s willing to pay for one himself.

The apparent outcome was another stinging defeat for President Donald Trump, who bucked his party’s congressional leadership to stage a last-minute rescue mission for Moore.

During the race, Moore adamantly denied multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underage girls decades ago, which had dogged his campaign for weeks and kept him largely hidden from voters down the homestretch. But the claims proved too difficult for him to overcome.

Stronger than expected turnout — especially from African-Americans — helped Jones overcome the state’s conservative slant, echoing results Democrats have seen in other races this year.

With his voice hoarse after a long campaign that included more than 230 events over the past two months, Jones, 63, thanked supporters for believing in him against the odds as confetti rained down from the ceiling.

“I have been waiting all my life and now I just don’t know what the hell to say,” the former federal prosecutor said. “This entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency.”

The unusual election, which proved almost impossible to poll, captivated both national political observers and voters in Alabama.

“This win is not only for Doug, or Alabama, or for America. The world was watching this, and we put on today,” Randall Woodfinn, the newly elected mayor of Birmingham, told NBC News.

Many of the long-suffering Alabama Democrats who gathered here to celebrate with Jones were stunned by the result, expressing disbelief at the political miracle they had just pulled off.

Exit polls show African-Americans carried Jones to victory. African Americans made up 29 percent of all Alabama voters, and they broke for Jones by a 96 percent-to-4 percent margin — essentially matching Barack Obama’s performance with African Americans in the state in 2012.

Ultimately, the counties that put Jones over the top on Election Night were the urban areas of Birmingham, Ala., and Mobile, Ala.

Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill doesn’t expect the results to change even if Moore demands a recount which he would have to pay for. “There’s always a chance of a recount because any candidate can ask for a recount,” said Merrill. “And if they pay for it, they can receive a recount.” Under Alabama state law, an automatic recount can only happen if the race is within half a percentage point and Jones has 50% of the vote to Moore’s 48%.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Only registered users can comment.