Are Black people & their welfare the end of the electoral process or merely the means for winning? From [HERE]] and [HERE] and [HERE]. Democrat Doug Jones won a remarkable upset over controversial rival Roy Moore in the diehard Republican state of Alabama on Tuesday, setting off a political earthquake that shook Washington. Both candidates were white but Moore was an overt racist who was also accused of child molestation.
His victory in a special election for a US Senate seat – by a margin of 49.9 to 48.4 with 100% of precincts reporting.
Black voters were instrumental in Democratic Senate Candidate Doug Jones’ historic win in Alabama Tuesday night.
Turnout was very high in heavily black counties, between about 72 and 77 percent of the 2016 election turnout, while it was just 55 to 60 percent in rural white counties, according to the Cook Political Report. In one particular county, Russell County — which is 40 percent black — Jones beat the New York Times estimate by 14 points.
Exit polling around 6:00 p.m. EST showed that nearly 30 percent of voters at that time were African American, a turnout figure trending toward the record highs of the Obama years. Exit polling also found that African American women, who make up 18 percent of the electorate, went for Jones by a margin of 97 to three.
In 2014, Republicans won the Alabama Senate seat that was up for grabs Tuesday with 97 percent of the vote. Jones’ historic victory Tuesday is largely due to the fact that he mobilized the Democratic and largely African American base in the state. [MORE]
Alabama has long faced a profound racial divide which was reflected in the results. According to an exit poll, Jones won 95% of the African-American vote but only 27% of the white vote in the Yellowhammer State. However, heavy African-American turnout on Jones’s behalf overcame Moore’s margins in rural, predominantly white parts of Alabama.
The Washington Post’s exit polls indicated that black voters would make up 28 percent of the voters, greater than their 26 percent share of the population, which would be a dramatic turnaround from previous statewide special elections in the South, including a special election for the Sixth District in Georgia which saw black support for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff dissipate on Election Day.
As Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman noted on Twitter, turnout was particularly high in the counties with the highest black populations. In Greene County, a small, 80-percent-black area that Martin Luther King, Jr., frequented in his Poor People’s Campaign, turnout reached 78 percent of 2016 turnout, an incredible mark given that special elections and midterms usually fall far short of general-election marks. Perry County, also an important mostly black site of voting-rights battles of old, turned out at 75 percent of 2016 levels. Dallas County, whose seat is the city of Selma, hit the 74 percent mark. And while the exact numbers aren’t in for all of the majority-black or heavily black counties, it appears black voters favored Jones at rates close to or above 90 percent.
Meanwhile, Moore’s support sagged in mostly white counties. The race was probably over for the former state chief justice when Cullman County, which is virtually all white and heavily supported Trump in 2016, only turned out at 56 percent of its 2016 levels. It really does seem that although many white voters weren’t convinced to vote for Jones, the allegations against Moore persuaded many of them to stay home.
These results demolish the pre-established media narrative about black voters in the state, and defy conventional wisdom. Black voters were informed and mobilized to go vote, and did so even in the face of significant barriers.
Like the Obama wins, the Black vote was so high it overwhelmed "the steal" or GOP suppression activity. A late court order also helped - as it ensure a paper record of each cast ballot was maintained in every county.
Jones also made significant inroads among college educated whites. He won well-educated Madison County by a margin of 57-40. A center of the aerospace industry, Trump won the county by a margin of 55-38 in 2016.
Jones emerged to a euphoric reception just before 10pm local time. “Folks, I gotta tell you, I think that I have been waiting all my life and now I just don’t know what the hell to say,” he said, beginning a 10-minute speech. “I have always believed that the people of Alabama had more in common than what would divide us.”
The election had never been either about him or Moore, he insisted. “This entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign has been about the rule of law. This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of what zip code you live in, is going to get a fair shake.”
His speech was met with cheers and applause and chants of “USA! USA!”
he Democratic victory will reduce the Republican majority in the Senate to 51-49 once Jones takes his seat on Capitol Hill. This significantly reduces the margin for error as Republicans attempt to push through a major corporate tax cut.
They already have one defector in senator Bob Corker and Jones’s election means a single additional Republican breaking ranks would sink the legislation.
Moore’s defeat also marks a major political blow to Trump, who endorsed the Alabama Republican and held a rally on his behalf just over the state line in Pensacola, Florida. Although most national Republicans rushed to distance themselves from Moore in the aftermath of the allegations, Trump reaffirmed his support through tweets and public statements. [MORE]