Alabama Democrats pulled off a major victory in the Senate special election, marking a setback for President Trump.
Doug Jones is the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the US Senate in 25 years. Jones surprised the nation with a narrow lead of 49.9% of the vote over Roy Moore’s 48.4%, becoming the first Democratic candidate to win statewide office since 2008. A blue vote in Alabama is so rare that Moore, the Republican candidate, refused to concede even 24 hours after the election.
In the months leading up to the vote, multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore came to the fore. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, past accusations of preying on vulnerable teenage girls saw support for Moore drop around his loyal base, despite his repudiation of the claims as “ritual defamation.”
President Donald Trump, who won by 63% in Alabama during the 2016 election, endorsed Moore despite the mounting allegations and calls from Republican leaders for him to withdraw from the race. Despite bipartisan condemnation, Trump remained committed to his decision and showed no regrets even after this historic loss.
Republicans on Capitol Hill now hold 51 seats against the Democrats’ 49, making it harder for the Trump administration to push through its conservative agenda. Not only will President Trump and the Republican Party face difficulty in passing legislation, such as tax and immigration reform, but this election may forecast a shift in American politics altogether. Jones believes that the people of Alabama have spoken on behalf of the entire country, rejecting the divisive rhetoric of the current political climate in favor of dignity and respect.
Could the “Alabama earthquake” signal a step toward mending the extreme political rift that America faces today and create greater common ground between conservative and liberal ideals?
*Watch the BBC video above to find out more.
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