Roy Moore lost his highly contentious bid for U.S. Senator for Alabama late Tuesday night in a very close election. Doug Jones, with a lead of just a little over 20,000 votes at press time, will join the effort to frustrate President Trump’s agenda in the Senate, tipping its precarious balance towards the Democrats.
The special election to replace Jeff Sessions after he became Attorney General, gives Senate Democrats a crucial additional member, changing the count to 51 Republicans and 47 Democrats. President Trump and the Republicans will be much less likely to successfully advance legislation, nominations, and other business through the Senate.
Jones is the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama in 25 years. The campaign was rocked by allegations that Moore, who was elected and removed as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, had relations with teenagers as young as 14 while he was in his 30’s.
Moore, who was heartily endorsed by Donald Trump in the general election, has refused to concede the race. “When the vote is this close, it is not over,” Moore said. His campaign chairman Bill Armstead announced that “[a]t this point, we do not have a final decision on the outcome tonight.” Jones, in a magnanimous victory speech, quoted Martin Luther King, saying “the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
President Trump congratulated Jones via twitter:
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017