Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore in Alabama: Here are 4 big takeaways

Alabama picked Jones, a Democrat, in a Tuesday special election for the U.S. Senate seat.

Doug Jones will be the next U.S. senator for Alabama.

Jones, a Democrat and former U.S. attorney, narrowly defeated embattled Republican candidate Roy Moore in a Tuesday special election 49.92 percent to 48.38 percent – a difference of 20,715 votes.

The 63-year-old Jones will hold the Senate seat at least through the current term, which ends in early 2021. Moore – shadowed by accusations he pursued, groped, or abused teenage girls as an adult, which he's denied – hasn't conceded as of Wednesday morning, CNN reports

1. Alabama votes blue for the first time since the '90s

Jones, with his victory, became the first Democrat to win a U.S. Senate election in Alabama since Howell T. Heflin, who won in 1990.

This seat was only open because of Jeff Sessions – when he was sworn in as U.S. attorney general in February, Republican Luther Strange was appointed to take over on an interim basis. But Strange only fills the position until the winner of Tuesday's special election is sworn in.

Jones, with his victory, will serve the rest of Sessions' original term, which runs through 2020. (This is similar to what will happen with Sen. Al Franken's seat.)

2. Write-ins may have had a big impact

Jones' victory was close, and write-ins may have been a significant factor.

As the New York Times points out, more than 22,000 people in Alabama (a generally conservative electorate) didn't vote for Jones or Moore – but instead wrote in their own candidate. Jones won by just over 20,700 votes.

3. This isn't automatic recount territory

Jones' victory margin was about 1.5 percent.

That's not close enough for an automatic recount (it needs to be within 0.5 percentage points), even though Moore said Tuesday night he wanted one, Huffington Post reported.

"When the vote is this close, it’s not over, and we still got to go by the rules,” he said.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told CNN a candidate could ask for a recall if they want to pay for it – but he wouldn't expect it to change the results.

4. The Republican Senate majority shrinks

The GOP has been nursing a small advantage in the U.S. Senate, holding 52 seats to the 48 held by Democrats and liberal Independents.

And even that margin has proved to be a challenge to navigate at times.

That's about to shrink to a 51-49 split – meaning Republicans can only lose one party member on simple majority votes (with a 50-50 tie broken by the vice president), and will need to convince nine Democrats to get on board for any measure requiring 60 votes.

So naturally Democrats such as Amy Klobuchar are happy.

At least one senator, Kamala Harris of California, wants Jones seated immediately, before any further vote on the divisive tax reform bill.

Next Up

Tanner Morgan/Gopher Football

Morgan's resurgence, Nebraska's miscues help Gophers hold on

The Gophers quarterback threw a pair of touchdowns in a 30-23 victory.

Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith warns Dems she may not vote for budget bill if climate plan dropped

This comes amid a White House effort to get its "Build Back Better" plan passed.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

St. Paul man dies six days after crash on I-94

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has identified the man as David Rodney Hardaway.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Double murder in northeastern Minnesota, suspect kills himself after chase

The suspect died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

chaska school fight

Anti-masker involved in school board meeting fight charged with assault

It happened last month at an Eastern Carver County Schools hearing.

Marcus Foligno

Marcus Foligno throws hands, scores game-winning goal in Wild's opener

The Wild forward scored with 7.2 seconds left to beat Anaheim.

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Large police presence at Emagine Willow Creek movie theater in Plymouth

There are few details at this stage as to what has happened.

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of fatally shooting wife

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.

Simon Merino Go Fund Me

Worker dies in forklift accident at paper recycling business

The victim was described as a loving father of two who was devoted to his church.

rosie means - go fund me

Authorities ID woman killed by hit-and-run driver who ran red light

A fundraiser was created to support the family after the "sudden and senseless loss."

Prior Lake Football

Watch: Prior Lake stuns Rosemount with last-second hook and ladder

The Lakers dusted off an old favorite to get a victory on Thursday night.


Franken and Klobuchar question Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing

Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar were among the senators to question Jeff Sessions Tuesday.

Al Franken's political fall came as fast as his rise to Senate stardom

Franken seemed to defy fate by winning a U.S. Senate seat – yet would reach political stardom anyway.

Beyond the headlines: 5 takeaways from the final presidential debate

Digging deeper than the "nasty woman" quote and who "won."

Al Franken has low expectations for Jeff Sessions' testimony

Sessions will publicly testify about the Russia investigation Tuesday. Franken is hoping for answers.

Franken, Klobuchar won't OK Jeff Sessions – but does it matter?

Cabinet nominations usually get approved without much fuss.

gov tim walz state of the state screengrab april 4 2019

5 takeaways from Walz's State of the State address

The new governor emphasized cooperation and compromise.

What the heck is going on with that big tax bill Senate Republicans have been talking about?

It looked like Senate Republicans would be able to pass it – then things hit a bump Thursday.