What Does Doug Jones’ Victory Over Roy Moore Mean for American Politics?

“I don’t think that any cliche is too corny to use for what happened,” says NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson.

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Democrat Doug Jones will replace Republican Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the United States Senate.

Jones beat controversial Republican candidate Roy Moore in a close election in Alabama on Tuesday. Moore was endorsed by President Donald Trump and his strategist Steve Bannon, but rejected — at least at first — by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many moderate Republicans. They were disgusted about predatory sexual harassment and assault allegations against the candidate.

On Tuesday, many analysts thought there was a good chance the embattled Republican would still win in the overwhelmingly red state of Alabama. But a wave of African American voters across the midsection of the state sent the first Democrat to the Senate from Alabama in 25 years.

NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to recap the results and talk about what they mean for American politics going forward.

“I don’t think that any cliche is too corny to use for what happened,” says Liasson. “It was a shock wave, it looks like there’s a tsunami brewing, it was stunning, etc.”

Liasson says this exemplifies a problem for Republicans hoping to capitalize on the Trump brand of politics.

Jake Neher/WDET

“Trump has proven only able to get votes for himself, not to transfer his appeal — to get his own voters to vote for the person he endorses,” she says. “That will really matter next year in the midterms.”

Henderson also speaks with David A. Graham, staff writer for The Atlantic, about what the Alabama U.S. Senate election means for the Republican Party going forward.

And Johns Hopkins University professor of political science and Africana studies Lester Spence joins the program to talk about the significance of the African American vote and what it might signify in terms of black voters’ relationship with the Democratic party.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


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