President Trump congratulated Democrat Doug Jones for pulling off an upset victory in Alabama’s special election, but reminded Republicans that the seat is open for re-election in two short years, in 2020.
“Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard-fought victory,” Trump tweeted. “The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!”
Proving once again that polls are unreliable, Jones defeated Moore, becoming the first Democrat in a generation to win a U.S. Senate seat from red state Alabama. Pre-election polls had Moore handily winning the race.
President Trump had endorsed Moore’s opponent Luther Strange in the GOP primaries, but eventually supported Moore in a bid to ensure Republicans hang on to the Senate seat vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Jones’ win now narrows the GOP’s lead in the Senate to a razor-thin 51-49 majority.
Roy Moore’s campaign was hampered by seedy sexual misconduct allegations that surfaced two months before the December 12 special election. Despite Alabama being a red state, many voters were turned off by the sordid scandal, resulting in 22,000 write-in votes and many people choosing not to vote.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Jones had 49.9 percent of the votes to Moore’s 48.4 percent, but the judge refused to concede defeat Tuesday night, saying he may seek a recount.
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