Black Voters Push Jones to Victory in AlabamaBy Hazel Trice Edney, Trice Edney Wire / December 15, 2017
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Alabama’s Black voters have carried the day, pulling off a stunning victory for Democrat Doug Jones in his contentious race against Republican Roy Moore, accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s.
Moore, who also recently said America was last great during slavery, has refused to concede the Dec. 12 election, which Jones won by at least 20,715 votes (671,151 to 650,436). Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says the votes will be certified between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3 and that it is “highly unlikely” that Moore will advance to win. Merrill says some overseas and military ballots will now be added, but hardly close enough for a Moore win.
African Americans reportedly voted for Jones with 96 percent, according to CNN, higher than the Black vote for President Barack Obama in 2012, which was approximately 92 percent. Blacks made up 29 percent of the overall vote, Whites made up 66 percent of the vote and Latinos, three percent. Women with children voted 66 percent for Jones.
Selma, Ala., an 80 percent Black populated hub of the civil rights movement, which was among the last to report results, appeared to have carried Jones across the line.
“Selma, Alabama turned Alabama into a blue state,” declared CNN contributor Bakari Sellers.
Those votes can largely be attributed to Black women says Melanie Campbell, president/CEO of the non-partisan National Coalition for Black Civic Participation and convener of its Black Women’s Roundtable.
“Black women gave 97 percent of our vote for Doug Jones in Alabama,” says Campbell. “We’re not just turning out the vote. We’re not just showing up at the polls. We’re leading from a grassroots perspective on up. So we have to make sure we leverage that vote, leverage that leadership. That’s what we have to do as Black women. We’ve always been the backbone. But we don’t get the credit.”
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez also gave credit to Black women, saying they voted 98 percent for Jones.
Despite Moore’s refusal to give in, saying he is waiting on God, even President Donald Trump has conceded the race, sending a congratulatory Tweet after Jones victory speech Tuesday night. Trump fought vigorously for Moore, despite the numerous sexual misconduct allegations against him. Trump, who has denied similar allegations from women, said the Republicans needed Moore’s vote to maintain their razor thin, 52-vote margin in the Senate.
Meanwhile, it was clear during election returns Tuesday that Black voters would be needed for the Jones victory and that without them, he could not have won. Former President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden recorded phone calls for Jones. Basketball star and native Alabamian Charles Barkley, a Black conservative, campaigned vigorously for him. Jones is also known as the lawyer who successfully prosecuted the two Ku Klux Klan members behind the bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church that killed four Black girls in 1963.
The result, according to CNN, was that African Americans voted at a level higher than they did for Barack Obama, America’s first Black president, in 2012.
Barkley said in a CNN interview, “I’m just so proud of the people of Alabama for rising up.”