ALABAMA
     Dec. 12, 2017 U.S. Senate Special Election

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+Doug Jones (D)
673,896
49.97%
Roy Moore (R)
651,972
48.34%
write-ins
22,852
1.69%

1,348,720

Registration (active): 2,979,576 including White 2,112,431, (70.90%) and Black 775,671 (26.03%)
Plurality 21,924 votes (1.63 percentage points).

AL Secretary of State



Notes:
On Nov. 18, 2016 President-elect Trump announced Sen. Jeff Sessions as his pick for Attorney General.  The U.S. Senate confirmed Sessions on Feb. 8, 2017.  Gov. Robert Bentley (R) selected Attorney General Luther Strange (R) to succeed Sessions, and Strange was sworn in on Feb. 9, 2017.
 
In the Sept. 26 special election primary, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (backed by Steve Bannon) defeated appointed Sen. Strange (R) (backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump). 
The Democratic nominee, former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, faced long odds in this very red state; the last Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate was Sen. Howell Heflin, who retired in 1996. 

In November allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Moore, but he refused to withdraw.  National Republican leaders posited all manner of scenarios, including running a write in candidate, possibly Strange or Attorney General Jeff Sessions; having Strange resign and hold a special election; and voting to expel Moore from the Senate if he were in fact elected. 

On Nov. 27 retired Marine Col. Lee Busby launched a write in campaign which attracted a fair bit of attention; there was also a Libertarian write-in candidate. 

As Election Day drew close Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed his tune, stating on Dec. 3 that, "I'm going to let the people of Alabama make the call."  On Dec. 4, President Trump endorsed Moore; in one tweet he stated, "Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!"  Following Trump's move, the RNC quickly restored its support for Moore.  McConnell did say that if Moore were elected his case would be put to the Senate ethics committee.  Meanwhile Democrats started using the RNC's support of Moore to attack Republican candidates (+). 

On Election Day, propelled by high turnout among black voters, Jones achieved the upset, defeating Moore by about 1.7 percentage points (+).  Jones carried 25 counties to 42 for Moore.  Moore refused to concede, and on Dec. 27 he filed a last-minute lawsuit alleging voter fraud, seeking to block the Secretary of State from certifying the results, and calling for a new special election.  A judge rejected Moore's complaint, and the Secretary of State certified the results.  Jones was sworn in on Jan. 3, 2018 and will not be up for re-election until 2020.

Campaign Managers:
Doug Jones: Wade Perry
Director of polling operations at TargetSmart Communications, LLC from Jan. 2015.  Director of operations at Winding River Research, Dec. 2013-Dec. 2014.  Executive director of Sun Surveys, July 2002-Mar. 2013.  Field director at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, April 1996-June 2002.  Master's in political management from The George Washington University, 1998; Master's in political science from Cal State University-Northridge, 1994.

Roy Moore: Rich Hobson
Administrative Director of Courts for the State of Alabama, 2013-16.  Executive director of the Foundation for Moral Law from 2003-2013.  Administrative Director of Courts for the State of Alabama, 2001-03.  Doctorate of Public Administration, M.A. and B.A. from the University of Alabama.  Served in the U.S. Air Force as a reservist from 1985-91.  Native of Enterprise, AL.


Campaign Chairs
:
Doug Jones: attorney Giles Perkins
Roy Moore: former ALGOP chair Bill Armistead


See also: Alex Roarty.  "How yard signs helped beat Roy Moore, and could elect red-state Dems."  McClatchy, Feb. 13, 2018.





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