With 100% of precincts reporting, Doug Jones has officially defeated Republican Roy Moore in what was undoubtedly one of the most controversial special elections in modern history. But unsurprisingly, given the obstinance he displayed by steadfastly refusing to step aside following allegations of inappropriate sexual contact with teenagers, managing to infurate conservative commentator Matt Drudge in the process…
Luther Strange would have won in a landslide… Just too much crazy in nerve racking times. There IS a limit! pic.twitter.com/vketz7G1OR
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) December 13, 2017
… Moore is taking it one final step too far, and is refusing to concede.
In a late-night speech to his supporters (not a concession speech, mind you), Moore said he realizes that “when the vote is that close, it’s not over,” later saying that “it’s going to take some time” before the final outcome is determined.
Moore suggested that the state’s “recount provision” – which allows for a recount when the margin between the two leading candidates is less than half a percentage point – could still tilt the race in his favor.
“We’ve still got to go by the rules about this recount provision. The Secretary of State has explained it to us, and we’re expecting that reporters will go up there and find out what’s going on.”
However, as Jones pulled away, it quickly became apparent that a recount would be unlikely. The final margin of error was 1.5 percentage points, more than enough to clinch an uncontested victory for the Democratic former prosecutor.
Jones’s victory was aided by heavy turnout among Democrats in the state’s largest urban centers, including Birmingham and Mobile, and wealthy Republicans in the state’s suburbs abandoning Moore in favor of a write-in candidate.
As the New York Times reported, about 20,000 voters wrote in a third candidate – a margin that’s roughly equivalent with Jones’s margin of victory.
Shortly after Moore's speech, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill was asked by CNN's Jake Tapper if he expected "anything other than Mr. Jones being the next senator from the state of Alabama."
"I would find that highly unlikely to occur, Jake," Merrill said.
In his victory speech, Jones to his supporters in Birmingham, where he said his campaign was about “finding common ground” and that Alabamians led by example in showing the rest of the country how to be united.
"I have said throughout this campaign that I thought Dec. 12 was going to be a historic day," Jones said.
Jones also noted Tuesday's election fell on the same day as his 25th wedding anniversary, saying “Dec. 12 has always been a historic day for the Jones family.” Jones is the first Democrat to win an Alabama senate seat in 25 years.
While stock futures dumped after it became apparent that Jones would win, they’ve already climbed back. Despite the typical back-and-forth yesterday about when the reconciled bill would be finalized, investors still expect the plan to be signed into law before the end of the year. As we discussed earlier, yesterday’s vote needs to certified before Jones can take the oath of office. That’s unlikely to happen before the new year.