Democrat Doug Jones has defeated Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race, as CNN, Fox News, and NPR currently project.
At the time of writing, Jones leads with 49.8 percent of the vote, more than a percentage point ahead of his Republican opponent. Although the two men are separated by just over 10,000 votes with 95 percent of precincts reporting, the numbers still rolling in are from districts that lean heavily to the left.
Should the numbers hold, Jones will be the first Democratic Senator elected in Alabama in more than two decades. He is poised to replace Jeff Sessions, who vacated his seat when he accepted President Donald Trump’s nomination as Attorney General.
The nail-biter of a race saw Moore, who had led by double-digits just weeks ago, ahead for most of the evening. Early polling had favored the conservative politician by 2.2 points, according to poll averages from RealClearPolitics. But pollsters urged caution: State Senate races are notoriously difficult to predict, especially in a contest as volatile as the Alabama runoff.
Exit polling indicated patterns reminiscent of the 2016 presidential election, in which white men favored President Donald Trump, while racial minorities and LGBTQ voters went for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Fifty-eight percent of women cast a ballot for Jones, a voting bloc that made up 51 percent of the population who came out to the polls Tuesday. But that statistic was heavily tipped by women of color: Ninety-eight percent of black women who voted in the Senate race supported the Democratic candidate, while 63 percent of white women favored the Republican.
Twitter fam: Please share with me your fave black woman candidates. I’m going to try to give to all of them. I hope you do too.
When we see Jones beat Moore because *97% of black women* brave all-day lines to vote for him, we’re looking at the future of the Democratic Party.
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) December 13, 2017
Trump won 51 percent of the white female vote in November, viewed as a surprise after more than a dozen women accused the current president of sexual assault.
Moore’s own allegations likely proved a dealbreaker for African-American women: Nine women say the 70-year-old used his public position to sexually harass them or coerce them into having intercourse, one of whom was 14 at the time of the encounter. One accuser was 16 when she alleges that Moore, then a district attorney in Gadsden, Ala., offered her a ride home from work and attempted to rape her.
The Republican, however, continued to perform well with his base on Election Day: Fifty-nine percent of voters over the age of 65 stuck with Moore despite the numerous allegations, which were first revealed in a Nov. 7 report in the Washington Post.
Moore did even better with white men. Seventy-two percent of Caucasian males voted for the controversial conservative.
While the final votes pour in, Jones celebrated a presumptive victory with a heartfelt speech, which he claims was delivered on his 25th wedding anniversary. “We have shown the country the way that we can be unified,” the former prosecutor told the elated crowd.
Moore was noticeably silent on his Twitter account as the race was called.
But the LGBTQ community will likely celebrate tonight: The far-right conservative, who was fired from the Alabama Supreme Court for attempting to block same-sex marriages, is one of the nation’s most virulently homophobic officials. He has compared same-sex marriage to slavery, blamed gay people for 9/11, and claimed homosexuality should be illegal.
INTO will continue to update readers as more information on the results are made available.