When voters turn out, Democrats win. In Alabama’s special US Senate election 35% of the voters turned out to cast their ballot. The turnout is higher than expected.
When black voters turn out, particularly in a state like Alabama, Democrats win. Black voter turnout is 2% higher than 2012 helping boost Jones to victory.
“In order to win Jones needs his base to vote fairly strongly, he needs stronger than average black turnout to the polls, he needs swing voters to turn out in strong numbers, and he needs to split the GOP vote by peeling off enough GOP voters to undermine the Moore base.” thepoliticalBlog This apparently happened giving Jones the win.
Democrats turned out
Jones needed an enthusiastic turnout from Democrats to beat Moore, and that’s exactly what happened on Election Day. A former U.S. attorney with deep ties in the state, Jones received strong support in Alabama’s Democratic strongholds, namely Birmingham, Montgomery and other urban areas. The victory comes on the heels of Democratic gains at the state and local level in states like Virginia and New Jersey last month, suggesting that the party’s grassroots remain energized one year after President Donald Trump took office.
Counting on the African American vote
Courting black voters was a key part of Jones’ strategy, and the effort clearly paid off. Some 28 percent of African Americans voted Tuesday, according to exit polls, equal to the black turnout in the 2012 presidential election. Jones received help from former President Barack Obama, who recorded a robo-call for Jones that went out in the final days of the race. Other prominent black politicians, including Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, made campaign appearances in the state as well on Jones’ behalf.
The high turnout was likely aided by Jones’ history of working on racial equality and civil rights issues in the state. Jones gained famed as a young prosecutor for conducting a case against two Ku Klux Klan members who were responsible for a 1963 church bombing in Birmingham. PBS News Hour
There are many factors that pundits can discuss, but the foundation for victory had to be turnout particularly among Jones’s base and black voters. Jones also had women and independents supporting him, with polling showing Jones with a 17 point advantage among women and 9 point advantage among independents. Finally, among Democrats opposition to Trump appears to be a major motivating factor for going out to vote. Jones capitalized on these dynamics resulting in his win.
Finally, Republicans also underestimated the strength of anti Trump sentiment among Democrats. It is giving Democrats a strong reason to vote.
Regardless of the reasons, Jones’s win in Alabama is an impressive victory.