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No Moore! Roy gets defeated
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Democrat Doug Jones won the U.S. Senate election over Republican Roy Moore in Alabama last Tuesday. His razor-thin margin of victory was a stunning defeat in the state where Donald Trump won by 28 percent over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential elections.

Jones will serve the remainder of former Sen. Jeff Sessions’ term, which is due to end Jan. 3, 2021 following the 2020 elections. Sessions resigned from the Senate in February to become President Trump’s U.S. Attorney General.

Against formidable odds, Jones will become the first Democrat to be elected to the Senate from Alabama since 1992. To put that quarter of a century in perspective, George H.W. Bush was in the White House then.

So how did Democrat Doug Jones manage to defeat embattled and controversial Roy Moore in one of the reddest Deep South states in the USA? The answer to that question depends on who you ask.

Many Democrat strategists claim Moore’s defeat is a resounding rebuke of President Trump and all he stands for. Conversely, many GOP strategists assert Moore largely beat himself.
In my view, the truth about how Doug Jones went from long shot to sure shot in a hard-fought Senate race lies somewhere between the competing claims of party strategists and political pundits.

Sure, President Trump gave strong endorsements to Moore late in the race. However, that was after he had backed Moore’s GOP opponent Luther Strange in the Republican primary. And Moore was, indeed, a deeply flawed candidate, already pronounced “guilty” in the court of public opinion on multiple counts of sexual misconduct.

That said, Jones won where it counted -- with Alabama voters. Although he barely beat Moore by about 1.5 percent overall, he won the female vote 57%-41%, the black vote 96%-4%, and the young vote 60%-38%. Jones also benefited from a much larger voter turnout than so-called “experts” had predicted for Election Day in Alabama.

So far, Roy Moore has refused to concede the election, despite all major media outlets having declared Jones the winner.

“We need to wait it out, and let this process play out,” he said late Tuesday night. “We know God is always in control.” Clearly, he is hoping for a possible recount before conceding.

However,  according to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, “An automatic recount could be done only if the margin of victory is half a percentage point or less.” Since Jones has about a 1.5 percent lead over Moore, that option is highly unlikely. Moore’s campaign could pay for a recount anyway, but that would be expensive.

In the short run, this historic victory for Democrats further narrows the Republican majority in the Senate. That’s why Republican leaders in both houses of Congress will be working even harder to get the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed and signed into law before Christmas.
Retired Army Col. Thomas B. Vaughn can be reached at tbvbwmi@blomand.net.