Montgomery: In a stunning victory aided by scandal, Democrat Doug Jones won Alabama’s special Senate election today, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump, who urgently endorsed GOP rebel Roy Moore despite a litany of sexual misconduct allegations.
It was the first Democratic Senate victory in a quarter- century in Alabama, one of the reddest of red states, and proved anew that party loyalty is anything but sure in the age of Trump. It was a major embarrassment for the president and a fresh wound for the nation’s already divided Republican Party.
The victory by Jones, a former U.S. attorney best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen responsible for Birmingham’s infamous 1963 church bombing, narrows the GOP advantage in the US Senate to 51-49.
That imperils already-uncertain Republican tax, budget and health proposals and injects tremendous energy into the Democratic Party’s early push to reclaim House and Senate majorities in 2018.
Still, many Washington Republicans viewed the defeat of Moore as perhaps the best outcome for the party nationally despite the short-term sting.
The fiery Christian conservative’s positions have alienated women, racial minorities, gays and Muslims in addition to the multiple allegations that he was guilty of sexual misconduct with teens, one only 14, when he was in his 30s.
A number of Republicans declined to support him, including Alabama’s long-serving Sen. Richard Shelby. But Trump lent his name and the national GOP’s resources to Moore’s campaign in recent days.