It was a great night for Democrats in Alabama, but a pretty bad showing for white women.
Republican Roy Moore was defeated by Doug Jones in Tuesday’s Senate runoff elections, a stunning upset victory in a deeply conservative state which hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate in 25 years. Moore lost by 1.5 percentage points overall, as black voters and women of color turned out in massive numbers.
Racial minorities favored Jones, once considered a longshot in the race, with a near-universal consensus. Ninety-six percent of African-Americans who showed up to the ballot box on Tuesday cast their vote for the Democratic candidate.
After leading by double-digit margins, Moore’s campaign was dogged in recent weeks by allegations from nine women that he used his position as a Gadsden, Ala. district attorney in the 1970s to coerce them into sex. One woman was 14 when she claims he picked her up and fondled her on their second date. Another accuser alleges Moore tried to rape her in a parked car, after offering her a ride home from work.
But white women, according to exit polls, were largely unswayed by the reports.
Although Jones won the female vote overall, Moore won over white women in Alabama by a huge, decisive margin. Nearly two-thirds of Caucasian females (63 percent) who cast a ballot Tuesday checked the box next to the Republican Senate candidate’s namegiving him a 29 percentage point margin of victory in the demographic.
Trump won 51 percent of the white female vote in November, viewed as a surprise after more than a dozen women accused the current president of sexual assault.
Such findings shouldn’t be surprising, given the number of white female voters who were willing to support a presidential candidate accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen women. Twenty accusers have come forward to say that Trump groped or kissed them without their consent, behavior the POTUS would brag about on a leaked Access Hollywood tape.
But what is notable is that just days before the election, old comments resurfaced in which Moore claimed that all amendments to the U.S. Constitution outside of the Bill of Rights should be abolished.
“That would eliminate many problems,” he told a conservative talk radio show in 2011.
Moore’s stated wish would also eliminate several cherished rights fundamental to American democracy, such as term limitations for presidents and the prohibition of a poll tax, meaning that polling centers can’t charge people to vote.
More importantly, annihilating every single amendment to the U.S. Constitution would re-legalize slavery and prohibit women from voting. The 13th and 14th Amendments abolished forced servitude and defined conditions for U.S. citizenship, while the 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, granted women suffrage rights for the first time.
After CNN reported on the four-year-old comments, Moore did not issue an apology or claim he had misspoken.
Moore, one of the nation’s most vociferously anti-LGBTQ figures, also attempted to block a lesbian mother from unsupervised visitation rights during his time as an Alabama circuit judge in the 1990s. The conservative wrote that the woman’s “minor children will be detrimentally affected by the present lifestyle.”
He has claimed he will contest the results of Tuesday’s Senate election.