Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore speaking about the race against his Democratic opponent Doug Jones during his election night party in the RSA Activity Center in Montgomery, Alabama.
Before they ever heard of Roy Moore, Alabama was a state that most people around the world probably couldn’t find on a map. It’s certainly not one that attracts global travelers. It is a state that generally ranks low across everything people really care about: economics, education and healthcare. It is the epitome of the “poor rural South,” and for most Americans, that “S” is always capitalised. THE South is an area of America that stands out in contrast to most of the rest of country because of its racial and religious beliefs. Southerners, especially White Southerners, like to think of themselves as traditional, dignified and polite. Some are. But aside from some exceptions (Apple’s Tim Cook is from Alabama) the rest of the county generally sees them as racist hillbillies.
And for the last 20 years, Alabama has also been a stronghold of the GOP. It’s Trump country. And they just lost it.
Doug Jones win isn’t a definitive victory. He won the US Senate special election by only 20,715 votes. Over 1.3 million votes were cast. A breakdown of the numbers isn’t going to change American’s opinion of the South as racist, either. According to CBSnews.com, 68 per cent of White Alabamians voted for Roy Moore, a candidate who has become synonymous with racism and sexual assault of minors. Ninety-six per cent of Black Alabamians voted against Moore.
But as Trump tweeted this morning, a “win is a win.” As usual though, he is wrong. As marginal as it might be, this win is a massive slap in the face to Trump, Roy, the Republican Party, and Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and current Executive Chairman of Breitbart, the Alt-Reich media machine who have been aggressively supporting Moore in the run-up to the election. This means massive trouble for the GOP as they head into 2018, because if a Democrat can win Alabama, they can win anywhere.