In Alabama, a Democratic victory and a heavy setback for Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump suffered a major political defeat on Tuesday December 12 in the US state of Alabama, where the candidate he supported was beaten by a Democrat, a feat in this conservative stronghold.

Democrat Doug Jones has defeated ultra-conservative former magistrate Roy Moore in a fiery campaign that has captivated America and will rob the ruling party of a valuable seat in the upper house of Congress.

According to results covering all the polling stations, Doug Jones obtained 49.9% of the vote, against 48.4% for Roy Moore.

The heart of this election was played on dignity and respectsaid the winner, a 63-year-old former federal prosecutor who rose to prominence by convicting members of the Ku Klux Klan who burned down a black church in the 1960s, killing four young girls.

Congratulations from Trump

“Alabama was at a crossroads (…) Tonight, you took the right path,” he told his supporters in Birmingham.

The setback is very personal for the President of the United States, who had called on his supporters to be loyal in the name of pursuing his reform program
But it was with a magnanimous tweet that he took note of the result.

Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought win but a win is a win“, Mr. Trump wrote in a tweet. “The people of Alabama are great, and Republicans will have another shot at winning that seat very soon.“, he added, the mandate of the current elected until 2020.

In this initial reaction, however, the president did not have a word for his candidate, whose campaign was dominated by allegations of sexual assault on two minors several decades ago.

Despite acceptance of the results by the president and the Alabama Republican Party, Judge Moore did not concede defeat in the evening, saying the result was too close and likely to trigger an automatic recount.

But the Secretary of State of Alabama, John Merril, indicated in the evening that no recount could be requested before the certification of the results; this certification will take place between December 26 and January 3.

Democratic euphoria

Not since 1992 has a Democrat been elected senator in this southern state.
Turnout was stronger than expected, between 33 and 35%, according to John Merrill.
The country won’t forget that Alabama voted for hope, and that Trump sided with an alleged child sex offender who wanted to set America back“, wrote Senator Chris Van Hollen.

You can’t pretend to be the family values ​​party as long as you accept despicable men like Roy Moore.“said Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez.

The feat of Doug Jones gives wings to the opposition party, which has already won a full house last month in a series of elections in the country.
If Democrats can win in Alabama, we can, and must, compete everywhere“, rejoiced Hillary Clinton.

Bannon targets criticism

Mr Trump had shrugged off allegations against Roy Moore in a bid to retain that seat and continue his reform package.

From now on, the Republican majority in the Senate will be 51 seats out of 100, reducing its room for maneuver to almost a minimum.

For the Republican Party, the defeat of their candidate is also, paradoxically, a relief, because it saves him from having to manage the Moore case, and from being sullied by association.

Unlike Donald Trump, most elected Republicans had withdrawn their support for Roy Moore after the publication of testimonials from women, in order to avoid being smeared by association. Attracting the wrath of anti-establishment forces led by Stephen Bannon, the former White House adviser who is in open war against the party leaders.

Even before the proclamation of the results, the knives had already gone out on the right, in the first place against Stephen Bannon, who brought out Roy Moore at the time of the primary.

The only Republican senator to have publicly endorsed Doug Jones, Jeff Flake of Arizona, tweeted a short sentence: “morals prevail.”

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In Alabama, a Democratic victory and a heavy setback for Donald Trump

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