25 Years Later: Democrats Recover Alabama Senate Seat

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newsday.com

Democrat Douglas Jones wins Alabama senate seat.

For the past quarter of a century, the Senate seats for Alabama have been strictly reserved for Republicans. However, this changed when Douglas Jones, a Democrat, beat Roy Moore, the Republican candidate, on Dec. 12. Moore, unable to accept his loss, tried to initiate a recount of votes since Jones had won by only 1.5%. He was denied his request because for a recount to occur the margin of defeat had to be less than 0.5%. This Democratic win has drawn concerns for the Republican party since they are now one seat away from losing control of their Senate majority in the 2018 midterm elections.

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It’s surprising that after so many years of being a Republican state Alabama, would elect a Democrat to be a U.S Senator, but it is definitely a reflection of the candidates involved in the election.”

— freshman Jessica Rivero

Months prior to the election, several sexual assault allegations were made against Moore. Due to these allegations, the election became a touchy subject for many; 57% of women voted against Moore and many other Republican voters dropped their vote. African Americans played a huge role in Jones’ win as well. They voted twice as much as they did in the 2008 presidential election—partially due to Jones’ involvement in the prosecution of the two Ku Klux Klan members who bombed a Birmingham church, killing two African American girls.

“It speaks volumes of the state of Capitol Hill and of the GOP when a long-term Republican state elects a Democrat,” junior Kelvis Colina said.

As controversial stories surrounding the Republican candidate appeared in the media, much of the funding towards Moore’s campaign was taken away, leaving him with 1.3 million dollars provided by a Trump-supporting group. Towards the end of the campaign, President Trump organized a rally for Moore in Florida to convince many of the moderate Republicans not to vote for a Democrat. Jones, on the other hand, ran a campaign funded by 4.3 million dollars that allowed his messages to reach a wider audience across a variety of news platforms, which further aided his victory.

As the elections came to a close and the results were announced, President Trump proceeded to congratulate Jones on his win on Twitter. Many Republicans were relieved to hear of Moore’s loss due to his controversial nature and the negative impact it could have had on the Republican Party’s image. Republicans will now have to work even harder to ensure a majority in the Senate following the 2018 midterm elections.