President Donald Trump signed on to his Twitter account and stated the following,
The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!
Trump heavily supported Strange throughout the Alabama primary. He traveled along county to county in the state to surrogate alongside him, something Trump never technically did for Moore in the state of Alabama.
When Jones won Trump congratulated Democrat Doug Jones on winning “a hard-fought victory.”
“The Write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win,” Trump tweeted less than an hour after most news organizations had made the call Jones would win.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told CNN that while results are not yet certified, it is “highly unlikely” Jones will not be the winner of the Senate race. On Tuesday, a source close to the White House said that Moore loss, “is an earthquake” and “devastating” for the President, who endorsed Moore on Twitter and rallied for him at a campaign event just across state lines.
The Alabama special election also came at an extraordinary moment in American political life — with allegations against Moore coinciding with an awakening over sexual harassment against women in politics, the media, and entertainment.
The question must now be whether the force of that movement begins to reshape politics itself ahead of the midterms next year and Trump’s re-election race in 2020, and can we really trust claims without evidence. If it wasn’t for these allegations Moore would have won in a landslide and the GOP would keep its seat. Will politicians in the future use sexual assault claims to gain support?
In a shocking turn of events late Tuesday night, United States Senator-elect Doug Jones narrowly defeated favorite Roy Moore in the Alabama special Senate election. (More detail of the live election coverage can be found here.) Though much of the coverage has thus far been centered around Moore’s defeat and the subsequent call for a recount, one neglected new reality may be considerably more important. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that because of this, the American people may now see the Senate move in a more liberty-oriented direction. More specifically, the Senate now, due to its extremely narrow margin, may move in a Rand Paul-oriented direction.
Throughout his first and the beginning of his second term as United States Senator from Kentucky, Republican Rand Paul has shown time and time again that he is not, at least not always, the elephant in the room. In fact, FiveThirtyEight data analysis shows that Rand Paul is the Republican that is third most likely to oppose a motion supported by President Donald Trump and that the Kentucky Senator opposes Trump’s favored motions 6.4% more often than he has been expected to. This margin is larger than any other Republican by several percentage points, which clearly shows his lack of approval for some, but not all, of the President’s actions.
How exactly does this impact the direction of the Senate? Well, naturally, to examine this effect, one must simply look at the immense power of the Senate Republicans who oppose Trump more frequently than Paul does. The only two that currently fit this category are Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and their actions alone have prevented a number of key pieces of legislation from passing. Most notably, their opposition has led to the Skinny Repeal of Obamacare being rejected by the Senate in July. Clearly, a small number of politicians opposing the line can have immense power; in this case, immense enough power to stop in its tracks arguably the most important piece of legislation brought to vote in 2017.
Indubitably, these actions by a tiny percentage of the Senatorial body took an economically-conservative dominated legislative body and drew it towards the center. However, this happened with a majority of four, as the Senate has been at a majority of 52-48. Two dissenting Senators may force a tie. However, Luther Strange, who was temporarily filling now Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Republican position, will soon lose his seat to Jones, a moderate Democrat. This will bring the majority down to two. At 51-49, one Republican Senator may now either maintain the majority or force a tie. Though any sole Republican theoretically now has this power, only one other shows a consistent record of dissent, and that, of course, is Paul.
Though McCain and Collins will not see any reduction in their power, one of the only other dissenting Senators will now see his voice heard. In the past months, a great number of bills were opposed party-line by Democrats with the addition of Paul. Among these bills include some of the exceptional gravity, such as the congressional budget put forth by the GOP this past October. As Luther Strange voted in the affirmative, the motion passed by a margin of 51 to 49. Now, had Jones voted in place of Strange, this vote would have been forced to a tie. Now, this is far from the only bill that would have been halted by a narrower Republican majority. In fact, Paul was the only Republican to oppose the initial Obamacare replacement bill, as well as President Trump’s nomination of Mike Pompeo for CIA director. Clearly, in both of these situations, there would be a high likelihood of a 50/50 split, given the replacement of Jones for Sessions and then Strange.
Rand Paul’s ideology does not closely reflect that of any other Republican. As a libertarian-leaning member of the Republican party, the Senator is considerably further right on an economic axis than anyone else in the Senate. This is unsurprising. What adds a layer of complexity, however, is Paul’s libertarian beliefs in regards to social issues. Paul sides more with Democrats on issues such as drug laws, as he does not support jailing individuals for use of marijuana for any reason, unlike the vast majority of Republicans. He also supports severe limitations on the power of the NSA and is a staunch non-interventionist, once again clearly breaking the party line.
On economic issues, Paul’s support of more conservative policies will most likely receive the support of the Republicans in the Senate. On his more libertarian-leaning social beliefs, he is unlikely to receive support from his own party but will serve as the sole vote necessary to prevent a Republican majority. Essentially, this means that now, both votes regarding the economic and social dimensions of politics will begin to sway in the direction of Rand Paul, specifically when they would otherwise be entirely partisan decisions.
As a libertarian, I am quite excited to see the increase in the volume of the voice of the only Senator that can be remotely considered to be a friend to the principles of liberty and individual rights. Finally, after decades upon decades of authoritarianism may finally be curbed. Though an imperfect outcome, the narrow majority will finally allow for some libertarian pieces of legislation to pass in both the social and the economic dimension. Rand Paul, it’s time to take back the Senate and send it in the direction of liberty.
BREAKING: John Merrill announces .5% figure is wrong. Says the actual margin is 1%… More to come
Tonight Doug Jones was predicted to have beaten Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate Special Election. With news outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, and even us here at 71 Republic (the first to call the race) confirming such.
At around 11:30 EST, the Chairman of the Roy Moore for Senate Campaign, Bill Armistead, came forward saying that “under the law, we need to wait for a recount.” Armistead followed up by stating that if the margin between Jones and Moore is under 0.5%, then there must be a mandatory recount. Armistead then called on the media to go to the Alabama Secretary of State later tonight to learn more details.
While Moore and his campaign asserts that a recount is a definite possibility, a mandatory one is not likely to happen. The Alabama Secretary of State tells us that until we are able to count the military ballots and write-ins, nothing can be determined. With all this is mind, almost every possibility is up in the air.
Information is limited at the moment, which means that we will be updating this post throughout the night to keep you, the viewer, informed.
Update (12:16 EST):
We can now confirm that the Alabama Secretary of State has said that a change in outcome of the election based on recount is “Very unlikely” despite claims made by Moore campaign chairmen.
Update (12:31 EST):
CNN has reported that under state law in Alabama the Governor has between December 26 to January 3 to certify election results or to announce a forced recount if votes are found to be within the .5% margin. The option of a payed recount is also on the table.
Update (01:09 EST):
Moore campaign silent on social media and otherwise since the address from campaign chairmen earlier tonight.
Update (07:40 EST):
This morning CNN is reporting that Jones holds a steady 1.5% lead.
Update (08:10 EST):
John Merrill has gone on record saying that he voted Moore.
10:15 PM EST: 71 Republic can now officially call the Alabama Senate Special Election for Democrat Doug Jones. He will join Republican Richard Shelby, as one of two Senators from Alabama. This Election has been a close one, and it should be interesting to see how this will change the 2018 Midterm outlook.
10:05 PM EST: Roughly 80% of all precincts in Alabama have reported. With that being said, Jones has won Chambers, Lee, Russell, and Barbour Counties, which was expected. Additionally, Jones and has flipped Lee County, which essentially gives Doug Jones the entirety of the eastern Black Belt. Jones is also overperforming in Madison County.
9:53 PM EST: Lee County, which is one of Alabama’s largest population centers (Home of Auburn University), has gone for Doug Jones. This is also a Democratic pickup. Jones overperformed Moore’s 2012 opponent Robert Vance by 9% here. Madison County, with roughly 60% of its precincts in, shows Jones overperforming by 4.5%. This Election is leaning in Jones’ favor at the moment, although nothing is certain.
9:45 PM EST: Talladega County, which was won by Roy Moore in his 2012 Chief Justice Referendum, has flipped Democrat. In addition, in the “Black Belt,” where the majority of Alabama’s African American population live, Jones is overperforming by roughly 2%. It appears as if Jones has capitalized on the African American vote. This Election is very tight, with Moore and Jones both over and underperforming their expected totals.
9:33 PM EST: The Election seems to have tipped back slightly in Roy Moore’s favor, as Monroe, Clarke, and Butler Counties all seem to have Doug Jones leading. This Election is too close to call, and we will know more once the heavy population centers of the state begin to report more results.
9:27 PM EST: Although Jones continues to trail, his outlook continues to improve. He is outperforming Roy Moore’s 2012 election opponent in even more counties, including Morgan and Colbert counties.
9:15 PM EST: Jones’s momentum is continuing. Rural counties that border the “black belt” are seeing more votes overall for Doug Jones than other comparable Democrats. Jones is currently the favorite to win the seat.
9:09 PM EST: With about 25% of precincts reporting, Doug Jones is showing extreme promise despite currently losing by around 5%, Jones is outperforming comparable Democrats in the key counties of Lauderdale, Lee and Talladega counties.
8:53 PM EST: Roy Moore has taken the lead over Doug Jones, maintaining a lead of around 7-8%. Many Doug Jones counties have very few precincts reporting, which could be indicator of his steep drop in performance.
8:48 PM EST: The race has tightened to with Moore coming within 1% of Jones. Although only under 75,000 votes have been tallied, all metrics are indicating that this race should remain close throughout the night.
8:27 PM EST: Despite early results showing a lead for Doug Jones, this is by no means an indication of any sort of final result. The small lead that Doug Jones has built up only numbers about 1000, however, it is an early sign of promise for Jones supporters hoping to see their candidate prevail in tonight’s election
8:06 PM EST: The key counties for tonight’s race are Madison County, Tuscaloosa County, and Mobile County. These counties all have a population over 50,000 and voted against Roy Moore in the 2012 chief justice race, but voted for Trump in the 2016 election. If Roy Moore struggles to hold leads in these counties, it is an indication that tonight’s race will be very close.
7:55 PM EST: Results for the Alabama Senate special election are expected to be tight. With polls closing in just 5 minutes, most analysts are predicting a slim victory for Roy Moore. Polls all week have predicted a slim margin of victory for Moore, however, a Fox News poll that came out yesterday showed a 10 point lead in favor of Doug Jones. With exit polling data being inconclusive so far, it is anyone’s guess who will come out on top in this highly charged election.
Roy Moore, who is the Republican Nominee for Alabama’s open Senate seat, found himself in a tough position today when four women came out and stated that Moore had pursued sexual relationships with them while still in their teens.
One of the women, Leigh Corfman, stated that she was just 14 years-old when Moore had begun speaking with her. After two encounters, Moore made sexual advances on Corfman, taking off her shirt and pants, as well as his own. Moore then touched her over the bra and directed her hand over the top of his underwear.
“I wanted it over with – I wanted out,” Corfman remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.”
It is important to note that the age of the consent at the time was, and still is, 16.
Another woman, Wendy Miller, said that Moore had asked her out on dates when she was only sixteen. She had been working as Santa’s helper at a mall when Moore first encountered her.
The two other women, Debbie Gibson and Gloria Deason, confessed to having relationships with Moore when they were just 17 and 18. Deason also reported that her interactions included wine, which was illegal for an 18-year-old to consume at the time.
Moore, in a written statement, refuted the accusations.
“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign”
None of the four women have donated to Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, according to FEC reports. It remains to be seen what will come of this story. However, it is important to note that everything reported thus far are simply accusations, and are not fact. As of the time of this article, no official indictments or charges have been filed against Roy Moore.