The United States has Alabama’s black voters to thank for defeating accused child molester Roy Moore.
Their aggressive organizing tactics and huge turnout are what helped Democrat Doug Jones rise to an unexpected victory in Tuesday’s special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat.
While African Americans account for only 26 percent of the state’s population, they made up a whopping 28 percent of those that voted on Tuesday, according to exit polling.
As if this isn’t impressive enough, you have to also take into account Alabama’s strict voter ID laws, and the fact that the state has made it increasingly difficult for African Americans to register to vote.
Many black voters showed up on Tuesday only to be told that they were listed as “inactive” and were forced to cast provisional ballots.
Black women, specifically, supported Jones. They went for Jones by a margin of 97 to three, according to exit polling.
African-American women (18% of electorate) went for Jones 97-3, per preliminary exit polls.
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) December 13, 2017
Jones is the first Democratic Senator to be elected in Alabama in 25 years. In 2014, Republicans won the Alabama Senate seat with 97 percent of the vote.
Roy Moore wasn’t doing the Republicans any favors. Nine different women have come forward recently, claiming that he had sexually abused him.
One of the women was only 14 when the assault allegedly happened. This caused a huge loss of support not only from women, but from Moore’s base of White evangelical Christians, who only turned out as 44 percent of the vote, versus their 47 percent from 2012 and 2008.
Many African Americans that were polled stated they were motivated by the fear the Moore would help President Trump cut government aid programs, reduce access to health care and neglect criminal justice reform. Others stated that they believe Moore has little respect for poor and working-class Americans, believing the Moore would “turn back the clock” in Alabama for minorities and that Moore’s version of Christianity was “really just a masquerade for white supremacy.”
Democrats worked hard to campaign for Jones. The party was well organized and aggressive in their campaign, which was custom-built for black Alabama voters. One program, a partnership between two national political action committees, had volunteers knock on 520,000 doors, 200,000 of them during the last four days of the race.