In a historic vote, Alabama elected Democrat Doug Jones to the Senate last night, narrowly choosing the former prosecutor over his radical right-wing rival Roy Moore, an alleged sexual predator and child molester.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Jones eked out a win with 49.9 percent of the vote to Moore’s 48.4 percent. An informal write-in campaign promoted by Alabama GOP Senator Richard Shelby had a massive impact on the election, with more than 22,000 votes going for candidates not on the ballot.
This number could have hypothetically narrowed the gap between Jones and Moore, though it still would have been a close race.
The results of the election hold massive implications for national politics. The GOP tax bill now has a smaller margin of error; just one more GOP dissenter could easily sink the bill, an outcome that may happen if Jeff Flake or Susan Collins buckle to pressure from their restive electorates.
Additionally, the Republican party’s deep fissures are now more visible than ever.
President and CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund Steve Law tore into Steve Bannon – the former Trump advisor and head of the radical conservative media outlet Breitbart. Bannon stumped aggressively on behalf of Moore despite the credible sexual abuse allegations levied against him.
Law released a statement that – quite bluntly – called out Bannon as a impediment to GOP success:
— Kevin Robillard (@PoliticoKevin) December 13, 2017
The Bannon-Trump wing of the party is prepping insurgent primary candidates to challenge more moderate Republicans in 2018, presaging an internecine conflict that could hamstring the party’s electoral chances over the coming years.