The special election to fill former Senator Jeff Sessions’ (R-Ala.) seat in Alabama has been one of the biggest stories in the country for weeks, as ultra-conservative Judge Roy Moore faced off against pro-abortion Democrat Doug Jones. While the race seemed like a lock for the GOP, accusations of sexual assault against Moore derailed the campaign, which ended last night in a very close defeat for the 70-year-old Republican.
Moore, however, isn’t done yet. Judge Moore refused to concede the election on Tuesday night, saying he wants a recount.
‘An Unfavorable and Unfaithful Light’
At the end of voting Tuesday, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill showed Doug Jones with 49.92 percent of the vote, and Moore with 48.38 percent.
The race was divided by only 1.5 percentage points, leading Moore to ask for a recount.
“When the vote is this close, it’s not over, and we still got to go by the rules,” Moore told his supporters. The rules in Alabama state that if the race is within half a percentage point, an automatic recount is triggered.
Since the race is slightly outside of the state rules for an automatic recount, Moore can request one but he will need to cover the cost himself.
Secretary of State Merrill called the possibility of Moore winning the election “highly unlikely,” saying “There’s not a whole lot of mistakes that are made.”
Moore doesn’t seem to care about what’s “highly unlikely” and he refused to call Jones Tuesday night to concede the race. Late Tuesday night he spoke to his supporters:
Part of the problem with this campaign is that we’ve been painted in an unfavorable and unfaithful light. We’ve been put in a hole…What we’ve got to do [is] wait on God and let this process play out.
How Did Moore Lose?
The explanation of how a staunch abortion supporter won in a state that hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate in 25 years is almost certainly due to the accusations against Moore.
Multiple women came forward claiming that Moore sexually assaulted them as teenagers while he was in his late 20s and early 30s.
The accusations took Moore to the top of the news cycle for days in a bad way, making him a household name across the country.
Even though one accuser worked on Hillary Clinton’s campaign and another was partially discredited after admitting to falsifying some of a yearbook signature she initially claimed Moore wrote, the damage was swift and severe. The accusations were too credible and numerous for Republican voters to doubt, or forgive.
The recount results in Alabama will not be known for several days.