Doug Jones (D – AL), the man who surprised many by winning the Alabama special election in 2017, a win that entitles him to serve out Jeff Sessions’s term in the U.S. Senate, is generally regarded as his party’s most vulnerable incumbent amongst the 12 Democratic Senators who have to stand for re-election in 2020.
Alabama is a solidly Republican state. Jones’ victory came about largely as a consequence of the weakness of the Republican nominee, Roy Moore. The Republican Party was badly split early in its nomination process and Moore was the victor of a two-round primary. After that was settled, the Washington Post reported on four woman who claimed that Moore had made sexual advances on each of them when he was in his thirties and they were teenagers. One of the women in the story was 14 years old at the time of the advances in question: below the state’s age of consent.
Even with such scandal concerning Moore, and with consequent disarray in the ranks of his opposition, Jones’ victory was a narrow one. He received just 50% of the vote, to Moore’s 48.3.
The Thing to Know:
Roy Moore plans to run again for Senate in 2020. The Republican establishment will likely work hard in the months ahead, though, to find and nominate a more scandal-free alternative opponent for Jones.