Monday marks the deadline to register for the Dec. 12 Alabama contest for U.S. Senate, and many are concerned that Black voters will not go to the polls to push Democrat Doug Jones across the finish line ahead of former Judge Roy Moore. Jones and Moore, the Republican candidate accused of sexual contact with underaged girls, are in a tight race to represent the deep red state in the Senate.
“Right now, many African Americans do not know there is an election on December 12,” Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders (D), who is Black and supports Jones, told The Washington Post.
It was once unthinkable that a Democrat could win this race. But that changed when the first woman came forward and reported that Moore, a vocal conservative Christian, had sexual contact with her when she was just 16 years old and he was in his 30s. Polls show that the race is now neck and neck. To pull ahead, Jones must piece together a coalition of core Democrats and crossover votes from Republicans who feel they cannot vote for an accused pedophile. The Black vote will be crucial. He needs to win 90 percent of the Black vote and increase turnout among African Americans for the special election. Blacks account for about 25 percent of the state’s electorate and are overwhelmingly Democrats.
Boosting turnout, however, is a major challenge for Jones, who is White. Political activists and community leaders in Alabama are concerned that Jones’ campaign has failed energize Black voters, The Post reported. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump, who’s also been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, is backing Moore—unlike many GOP leaders who have urged Moore to drop out of the race.
Trump, in a pair of tweets on Sunday, restated his endorsement of Moore, saying “the last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet,” like Jones. Still, even the president declined to name Moore in his tweet—perhaps trying to put just a little bit of space between himself and the accused pedophile.
SOURCE: Washington Post