Donald Trump responds to Roy Moore's humiliating election defeat: 'The write-in votes played a very big factor'

Chris Stevenson
Wednesday 13 December 2017 05:16 GMT
Doug Jones has won Alabama senate election

Donald Trump has responded to Roy Moore's defeat in the Alabama Senate election race. In a tweet the US President congratulated the Democrat Doug Jones, and suggested that write-in votes worked against the Republican candidate, who was accused of child sex abuse during his campaign.

"Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win," the President wrote. "The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!"

Mr Moore has adamantly denied all the allegations against him, made by a number of women. The claims included Mr Moore allegedly making unwanted advances towards a 14-year-old when he was in his 30s. He has said: “I have never engaged in sexual misconduct” and decrying what he called a partisan effort to derail his campaign.

Mr Trump's mention of the write-in votes relates to the fact that the number of such votes is almost equal to Mr Jones margin of victory. Mr Moore and his campaign have said they are not yet conceding the result, with some votes still outstanding.

Alabama state law calls for a recount if the margin of victory is less than one-half of one percentage point. With all precincts reporting, Mr Jones leads by 1.5 percentage points — three times what's required to trigger a recount.

If the Alabama secretary of state determines there were more write-in votes than the difference between Mr Jones and Mr Moore, the state's counties would be required to tally those votes. It's not clear how that would help Mr Moore, who ended the night trailing Mr Jones by more than 20,000 votes.

Mr Jones' victory is set to narrow the slim Republican majority over Democrats in the Senate to 51-49.

Meanwhile his victory in the Republican stronghold energises the Democratic Party as it looks to build on anti-Trump sentiment to mount a challenge next year to Republican control of Congress.

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