Alabama black voter turnout may have been the contributing factor that helped Democrat candidate Doug Jones defeat Republican candidate Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate.
On Tuesday, Alabama made history when it elected its first Democratic senator in 25 years. When Jones takes office, the Republican majority will become 51-49.
According to CNN exit polling data, 30 percent of Alabama voters for this election were African American with 96 percent of them voting for Doug Jones. As for African American women, 98 percent of black woman voters gave Jones their vote. The New York Times reports the total amount of black voters for this election was higher than when Barack Obama was elected as President of the United States in 2008 and reelected in 2012.
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As the polls closed Tuesday night many people took to Twitter to show the stunning turnout of African American voters.
Exit poll statistics show 63 percent of white women voted for Roy Moore despite the fact he has been battling sexual assault allegations. Several women have come forward to say Moore sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
According to the New York Times, African American voters came out to support Jones because they don’t agree with Moore’s politics. African American voters decided to vote against a man who is embattled by sexual assault allegations and has said insensitive things about African Americans and is backed by President Trump.
Grassroots organizations such as local NAACP chapters contributed to African American voter turnout by mobilizing voters in black communities and urging them to get out and vote. Voting-rights groups and other organizations made sure residents were registered properly and were not turned away from polls due to missing pieces of identification.
Aside from the spike in African American voter turnout in the election, the Washington Post reported that Trump supporters who chose to stay home and suburban Republicans who decided to vote for a democrat contributed to Jones’s big win.
Doug Jones also had support from well-known politicians and celebrities. During the final days leading to the election, Jones received campaign support from out-of-state politicians including New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick. Aside from political backing, Jones received celebrity endorsements from several well-known stars including Kerry Washington, Mark Ruffalo and Ellen DeGeneres. Jones also received the support of former NBA star and Alabamian, Charles Barkley.