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Alabamians Choose Doug Jones to be Their Senator. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired December 12, 2017 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
[22:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN: He's got a lead of almost 23,000 votes. It was a bigger lead just a little while ago. So it's come down 72 percent. Once again, 72 percent of the vote is in.
Let's go over to John King. This is still going to be exciting. It's by no means over.
JOHN KING, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: By no means over because of what we're missing. You want to go the largest basket of votes is here in Jefferson County, Birmingham and the suburbs. I kept emphasizing that, the suburbs. We're told a lot of votes we had so far are from the city so it's more of votes are coming from suburbs.
Look at the big margin here. You're talking about what, 23,000 vote margin right now. If this margin holds, more than 23,000 votes right there just in Jefferson County alone --
It's up by 56,000 votes alone and that margin is still standing.
It stays anywhere close to that, there are more than 23,000 votes just right here in Jefferson County alone.
BLITZER: It's up by 60,000 votes but half of the vote is still outstanding.
KING: Just in Jefferson County alone if that margin stays anywherr close to that you can't expect it to come in that left side, that's the suburb, if it stays anywhere close to that there are more than 23,000 votes just right here in Jefferson County alone.
So then you look down here we've been talking about Mobile County slowly all night, finally up to 28 percent now. But again, if you look at that healthy margin there if it stays like this and more votes come, there's a lot of votes there, Doug Jones can make up in this.
So there are votes to be had. Bakari was talking earlier about what's called the black belt. Again, it's for the topsoil. But you do have a great African-American democratic base here, we're still waiting. It's not a large population center by any means, but we have nothing from Dallas County, which is Selma just yet, you can assume that's going to fill in blue.
The question is, what is the turnout. In a lot of these other areas Bakari was saying, you know, are there more votes. Most of the, what's called the black belt across this part of the state, 100 percent in Bullock County, 100 percent here in Macon County.
You move over here this is the big one we're waiting for, Montgomery County up to 73 percent. But again, 73 percent, quarter more of the votes still out. If Doug Jones keeps hitting close to that margin, that's 10, 20,000 votes. This is another big group of votes there.
BLITZER: He can -- he can make that up. OK. Let's go back to Selma for a moment. None of the vote, zero percent of the votes so far has been counted -- four years ago or five years ago how many votes were there in Selma?
KING: So if you go to back to that, we don't have the count right here and that they might show you the margins in this race as we go back to right here. The democrat got 72 percent of the vote.
SO, again, this is the presidential year. You have a higher turnout in a presidential year. But it is a safe assumption that when this comes in Doug Jones is going to...
BLITZER: What about the 2016 presidential election to Selma?
KING: The 2016 presidential election come back right here. Hillary Clinton carried home Selma with 68, 60, almost 69 percent.
BLITZER: But she had almost 13,000 to Donald Trump's almost 6,000 votes.
KING: Right. So we'll have lower turnout non-presidential year. But it gives you a sense of the margin between the democrats as we look for that to come in. And so, then you're looking -- if you're Doug Jones you think I got more to get here, more to get here, more importantly we're up to 66 percent now, and this margin is holding here.
But it's still 21,000 votes. So as this goes up, you need to see the overall statewide margin come down because this is the biggest available pull of votes though, so you keep an eye on that.
The other question is where are there more votes for Roy Moore. And so you so start looking again. This is the Christian conservative DNA of Alabama. But 100 percent in, 100 percent in, 100 percent in, and a 100 percent in. Down to the southeast corner, let's go up here, 100 percent in, 68 percent in.
So it's a smaller county, 98 percent, there's some decent votes there for Judge Moore, so it can just jump up to 81 percent and you see he added some more votes there. But 100 percent here, 100 percent here. Just skipping through those to make the point what if you look at what we're waiting on, Tuscaloosa, up to 85 percent, but its larger slice of the population, 4 percent of the population. So if you're in the Jones campaign, again, if you keep that margin, you're going to pick up some of that deficit and dwell on this, there need to be a broken record, but this is the biggest pool. We're up to 66 percent.
BLITZER: Plus 14 percent of the vote.
KING: Sixty-six percent of the vote is in. But this is the biggest pool of votes. And you just look at that. This is the absolute key to Doug Jones as they count them up. Keeping something close to that margin as the rest comes in.
And then again, I'm just going to check this to see if it changed. Got up to 32 percent during our conversation. For the big margin like that at 30 points.
BLITZER: He's up by 10,000, Doug Jones.
KING: Ten thousand votes. So the question is as you go from 32 to 64 to 90-something, not only does the margin stay like this, but as the math come in like this, if that's the case if you -- again, it's nail- biting time, but if you're in Jones headquarters and you're looking at the places on this map particularly right here where there are still a lot of votes out, you've got a chance here.
You got 19,000 now the statewide margin. So as we come in, now we're getting into a nail bite.
One other question as you do this, you see Roy Moore is now coming back down towards 50. This is at 1.6, I mean, this is the democratic dream scenario is get Doug Jones up to about 98 percent, hope Roy Moore drops down and hope that number climbs to around 2. That's the democratic dream scenario. Still got some votes to count.
BLITZER: Yes. But a lot of those conservative counties as 100 percent of the vote is already in. And some of the other bigger counties, there's still plenty of votes outstanding.
KING: That's right. Here's one. It's only 42 percent up in Franklin County, again, it's not a ton of votes. But again, you know, to be fair to Judge Moore, there are some places where he's going to pick several hundred votes here if the margin stay roughly like that. And this is reliably republican territory up here.
[22:04:59] But we're at 100 percent there, 91 percent here in these smaller counties. So it is -- I must say there are still some votes for Judge Moore to come in out here. But a lot of these counties are at 100 percent.
And so if you're thinking about a couple 100 here, a couple 100 here perhaps, then you're focusing on here -- the shift comes in again. How many election night have we've been waiting late.
BLITZER: Take a look right now. You see he's just got under 50.
KING Right. BLITZER: Roy Moore at 49.8 percent. Doug Jones 48.6 percent. It's only a 12,000 vote difference right now. Seventy nine percent of the vote is in.
KING: Right. And the write-ins are climbing up to 1.5. That was going to be a big question especially as we get more of the suburban vote here, do you have moderate republicans who either switch over and vote for Doug Jones or decide to write someone in.
Again that brings the more -- the line you need for victory down some, and so I just want to check to see how we're doing as we're talking these numbers are going up. Eighty five percent there. So again, still some more votes.
When you're in Howard and I was sneaking a peak in your shoulder the 12,000 votes. As you get to that point right now, look, it's easy...
BLITZER: What about those three counties, those three counties where no votes have yet been counted? Are they democratic counties traditionally or republican counties?
KING: Relatively small county here. Chambers County they are 1.7 percent of the population. Very interesting.
BLITZER: Let's go back in time to see how it did before.
KING: If you go back to the 2012 Roy Moore race for chief justice very competitive but the democrat won it in a tie. If you look at presidential performance it tends to go to the republicans but not by a margin as the stake did. So it's a more -- it's a traditionally republican county.
BLITZER: So that's one county. Let's go to other...
KING: So let's go back to 2017 and come out the big one in terms of Dallas County, which is Selma. Which if you're in Jones headquarters, you're thinking this is great, this is coming in for us. And then you move over here and you're looking at Hale County, again a much smaller county. But traditionally part of that so-called black belt across the state here.
Let's go back and take a peek out in 2012 just to see how it went. It went for the democrat by two to one margin there at 67 percent. So, again, if you're in Jones' headquarters, you've now got this thing down about 13,000 votes and you are just checking in with every...
BLITZER: Let's look at Selma -- let's look at Selma and see how Moore did back in 2012. KING: That a predominantly -- overwhelmingly democrat state.
BLITZER: Yes. The democrat...
KING: Seventy two percent of the vote there as you go back to that. So there's no question what's left. Now question here and here particularly. This is going to come in blue. This one is more of a swing county but it went blue in the last chief justice race.
KING: But let's assume they break relatively even here even if Doug Jones wins it, blue, blue and then you're looking at what's left, 66 percent, this is going to tell us a lot. When we get from 66 up to 75 we're going to see a lot. If this margin holds that's going to inch it in closer for Doug Jones.
And then again, we're still waiting down here in the corner of the state. Mobile now up to 32 percent. Again, if you're Doug Jones you're holding that healthy margin. The question is, just because you're having to 32 percent there's no guarantee as the other precincts come in you're going to keep it. And so, as I said earlier, this is nail- biting time.
BLITZER: This is obviously very dramatic. Let's just reassess right now. A 13,000 vote difference. It was at one point what, 40,000 vote.
BLITZER: Maybe 50 difference. It's narrowed dramatically. Roy Moore now with 515,244 votes. Doug Jones, the democrat 501,518 votes. So you see 49.9 percent, 48.6 percent. There's still what, 21 percent of the vote outstanding. And it looks like a lot of that outstanding votes, correct me if I'm wrong, John, are in counties that the democrat seem to have an advantage.
KING: Democrats have an advantage. Every right to believe they can get the votes. And you mention that, let's just get if you're with us throughout the night. When you went from the early Jones lead to that the significant Roy Moore lead it was because of this.
The votes came in. These two parts of Alabama absolutely critical to Roy Moore's base sticking with Alabama's DNA. This is his conservative republican rural base. Those numbers have come in very good for Roy Moore by the percentages there.
KING: But to your point about the outstanding math...
BLITZER: Here's Jefferson County. Stand by for a moment. Joining us on the phone right now, Judge Alan King, he is the chief elected official for Jefferson County. Thanks so much for joining us. So, what -- you know, John, I want you to watch what's happening in Jefferson County right now because what, in Jefferson -- let's go to Jefferson County. Sixty six percent of the vote is in. Doug Jones has a significant lead.
KING: The question is, are there more votes available to us, that the local officials...
BLITZER: Well, let me ask -- let me ask Mr. King, are there more votes -- are you getting more quickly, some of the results in your county, Jefferson County?
ALAN KING, CHIEF ELECTION OFFICIAL, JEFFERSON COUNTY: Yes, I'm here real-time in our election room here in Jefferson County and we're now showing 122 out of 172 precincts were reported. And Doug Jones has 104,697 votes. And Roy Moore has 30,158 votes. So what that's basically, 74, 74,500 vote difference at this point in time.
BLITZER: What percentage, I know you mention the number of precincts, what percentage of the vote is still outstanding in your county, Jefferson County?
[22:10:00] A. KING: You know probably, gosh, I'd have to do the math. I don't have a calculator with me. It's probably about 34 percent or so still outstanding.
BLITZER: John, go ahead, that's pretty good news for the democrat Doug Jones.
J. KING: If this keeps up because you just look at the margin here, you know, if you can do the math at home, 25 up to 94, as it stretches out a little bit that Doug Jones is picking up, picking up some votes to narrow that margin.
The question is, did the rest of the votes come -- you know, obviously, Mr. King may know. We don't know where those precincts are. Are they tend to be more democratic districts or are they further are in the suburbs.
BLITZER: Well, let me ask. What's the answer to that, Mr. King?
A. KING: Yes, I've got a list here on the screen showing which precincts have been reported and which precincts are still out. And it's across-section at this point in time, yes, Roy Moore will pick up some votes.
There's still some precincts here that will likely go for Doug Jones. Gosh, it's hard to tell. I would say that, you know, right now the 74,000 vote margin based on the 49 precincts that are out, it's hard to tell. But I would say, I mean, just in -- Doug Jones will stay carry Jefferson County by a wide margin.
BLITZER: You think he'll carry it by 70,000 votes, which he's leading right now by that number? Will it shrink of that?
A. KING: No, it will shrink. It will shrink. He won't carry it by 74,000. But he will carry it in a -- you know, gosh, it's hard to tell. I don't have a crystal ball here, but I would say that he will carry Jefferson County by a wide margin.
BLITZER: Do you have any idea, Mr. King, what the raw number of outstanding votes in Jefferson County is?
A. KING: No, sir, I really have no way of knowing that at this point in time.
BLITZER: But it's at least what, 30 percent of the vote is still outstanding right?
A. KING: Yes, sir.
BLITZER: And maybe a bit more, you, you know, if you take a look at this that potentially, once again I suggested that's pretty good news for Doug Jones looking in the big picture.
J. KING: Hey, that's going to come down of the final map. Because as Mr. King just suggested he thinks Roy Moore will get some votes, the gap will close a little bit as more of the suburban precincts come in.
The question is, what is your final cushion? If you're Doug Jones you're down 13,000 votes right now, what is your final cushion out of Jefferson County? And then when you do that, I don't want to take these numbers off the board.
If you come out -- if you come out, let me just do a math for a minute here, is what do you get there and does it help you -- I've got to turn this up to do this -- is what is your final margin there. And then as we start to get the votes down here in Mobile County is the county -- you know, we're just doing that...
BLITZER: Let's stay live for a moment. Mr. King, please stay with us. I don't want you to leave. If you take a look at statewide, you see that, what, there's about a 13,000 vote difference by our count, but by the count that Mr. King gave us in Jefferson County that goes down to maybe 7,000 lead for Roy Moore the republican.
J. KING: Right. And so then the question is and Mr. King can tell me if he thinks that -- well, let me just ask the question that way. Do you believe at the end can Doug Jones pick up seven -- a margin -- a net margin of 7,000 more votes, or is that going to actually shrink when you get your final numbers?
A. KING: Well, you know, right now it's up to 75,000 votes. Now, if you're asking me whether that will stay 75,000 or even go up to 82,000, if I'm understanding you right, no, I don't think it's going to increase that much.
It will decrease some, but how much it will decrease, gosh, I don't know at this point in time. It's still pretty early in the evening comparably speaking. But yes, I mean, Doug Jones is still going to have a very comfortable lead in Jefferson County.
I mean, you all are looking at figures from throughout the state of Alabama. I don't have those figures. So I don't know really what's out and what's not out in the state of Alabama. But in Jefferson County it's a comfortable lead for Doug Jones. And it will stay comfortable probably throughout the end of the evening.
BLITZER: And as we, as we've been speaking, the numbers has changed, the numbers that you're getting right now because you're getting them more quickly than we are.
A. KING: Well, you know, it's up to 123 out of 173 precincts, one of those is a provisional. So really we're going to count here tonight 172 precincts. The vote total here is -- the difference is still hanging at 75,000 votes.
BLITZER: Seventy five thousand votes, advantage for Doug Jones over Roy Moore. That's in this Jefferson County. That's the largest county in Alabama, right?
A. KING: Yes, sir, it is.
BLITZER: And so you still have -- you still about have 30 percent of the vote outstanding as we speak right now.
Judge King, we're going to stay in close touch with you. We'll get more information. But clearly, John, this is by no means a done deal. This could go either way.
J. KING: Absolutely. Now it's such a big chunk of votes here. You just heard the judge say you've got to watch that and see if the ultimate split between them grows or not. You're 12,400 vote difference in the race right now, and so we'll wait on that.
But again, we're still waiting at 84 percent, but we're still waiting up here.
[22:14:57] And again, if you look at the margin for Doug Jones the challenge is the final 16 percent comes in, you keep that split which will get you again if you're looking at 12,000 vote difference, if you can hold your margin in Jefferson, help yourself up there, and then I think the wild card for us is still down here.
We're under 33 percent of the vote in Mobile County. Again, a place where Doug Jones is running well ahead. The question is again, you're trying to make up 12 or 13,000 votes. You know, can you get 8 or 10 of them here, and then we're -- and then we're waiting, still waiting -- I keep waiting for these to fill in.
This one did fill in over in Chambers County. I said this one should be competitive. It all in at once and that's, you know, in a swing county in the last chief justice race, that's good for Doug Jones there. That's where he picked up a little bit of his votes there. And we're just going to have to wait. It will be interesting to find
out, maybe some of their staff are going to phone at Dallas County and find out why they're still at zero by which lead you to believe when they're zero at this late. When they do come in we've got a big dump when they come in.
And then here, and the question will be when these two counties come in, how much does Doug Jones narrow the gap, and then we're going to be waiting for the final votes here, here, and down here as well. At Montgomery County, don't underestimate the impact this could have for Doug Jones. Still only at 43 percent when you look at that gap.
BLITZER: He's up by 25,000 votes there which is an impressive margin. Less than half of the vote is in, in Montgomery County. So the hope for the democrats still is very much out there.
J. KING: There are more than enough votes in these democratic areas. And the question is a, do those margins hold up? Just because the 60 percent of the votes comes in with that split, it doesn't guarantee you. And the later precincts come in, again, in Jefferson County as the judge has explained, you get more suburban counties.
Doug Jones is going to end the night with a healthy lead in Jefferson County, Roy Moore can narrow the numerical gap a little bit. We'll keep an eye on that as it plays out. And then one of the things...
BLITZER: Look at this. Look at this now, John, now all of a sudden 86 percent of the vote is in. There's 2,000 votes, maybe 3,000 vote difference all of a sudden. Look how it's narrowed.
J. KING: Because Selma came in. Dallas County came in which is Selma and look at the margin. There's 7,000 votes right there.
J. KING: As Dallas County came in. And so, now, again, we're going to wait. We're almost -- we're almost at a place where we're getting votes from every county. When waiting on Hale County now. It's tiny. It's tiny but when you're inside your 2,600, 2,650 votes with the margin right now, that's when tiny matters.
Roy Moore took the big lead, because this tiny county is up here running up big numbers in relatively small counties as you go across the top of the state. And one of the reasons Doug Jones is coming back, again, the Selma vote, Dallas County, Selma in the suburbs there, that's a big pool of votes that just put Doug Jones right back into the this race.
BLITZER: Yes, looking how close it is right now, 49.3 percent, 49.1 percent. A difference of 3,000 votes right now. And it was 25,000 votes, 30,000 votes, 40,000 votes, 3,000 vote difference right now.
And you have Mobile, Mobile County, still plenty of votes out there. And that looks like it's going overwhelmingly for Doug Jones right now, and you've still got Jefferson County as we're looking in as well.
J. KING: If Mobile County as the rest of it comes in...
BLITZER: It is almost 90 percent of this.
J. KING: Right. If it tracks anywhere close to where it is right now, that's good for Judge Moore. It's not a guarantee. But we'll keep an eye on that one. We'll just over here and make sure that examines.
We're still waiting for a lot of votes here. This is a democratic stronghold as you can tell by the 71 to 28 margin there. So if you were in the Jones' campaign a little while ago you were biting your nails, and now you're starting to think, OK, this math could work for us. But we'll see it.
One of the things I'm going to check when the panel gets on the board here. Again, 72 percent Jefferson County, we're keeping that margin over there. They're getting excited across the room there.
J. KING: It tends to happen on election night. I just want to check over here. So we're at 100 percent here, we're at 100 percent here.
So it's mainly those big counties. We're going to watch the Birmingham area, we're going to watch the Montgomery area. We're going to watch the Mobile. Just let me check up here. Huntsville up to 86 percent. But again, 14 percent of the votes still out. There's a place where Jones is running well ahead, so.
BLITZER: It looks like the red counties are pretty much almost 100 percent, almost 100 percent of the vote in, but there's still votes in those blue counties.
J. KING: Right. The question, the big question right now is can Judge Moore in the blue counties we're waiting for votes narrow the gap somewhat, number one. And then number two, one of the things I've been hunting for you, you just start going around through these smaller counties...
BLITZER: Take a look at this. Let's go back state wide because the gap has narrowed to 1,300 votes. Look at how close it is. Roy Moore only very, very slightly ahead of the democratic Doug Jones. Look at this. Wow. Look at this.
J. KING: It just happens.
BLITZER: All of a sudden, Doug Jones is taking the lead.
J. KING: hale County just came in. BLITZER: Take a look at statewide, with 87 percent of the vote is in. The vote for Doug Jones, 533,935, 553,118, 49.2, 49.2. But Doug Jones the democrat after a few hours has once again taken the lead.
J. KING: And if you're at Jones headquarters, number one, Bakari talked about this earlier, the so-called black belt named for the topsoil has come in solidly democratic, which is if you're looking at the map Doug Jones has done what he need to do in terms of the counties.
Now the question is can he hold it and get to finish line? This is stunning where we are right now if you look at this in the sense of where we still have big, big baskets of votes still out.
[22:19:58] Jefferson County, this is a democratic stronghold.
BLITZER: It's the biggest county.
J. KING: Twenty three percent of the 27 percent of the votes still out. Come down here to Mobile, not even half of the vote counted. And again, the democrat...
BLITZER: And Mobile County with almost 9 percent of the population, that's I think the biggest gap right there. The biggest outstanding vote is in Mobile and Jefferson and maybe even more so in Mobile County.
J. KING: And so if you're looking for these votes now and I just want to check over here in Montgomery, again, more half of the votes till up. Democratic area. So if you're the Roy Moore campaign, you're thinking are we going to somehow suddenly start to perform better in these democratic areas or do we have anything else still out. And when you go around again, these are most smaller counties, but if you're looking for...
BLITZER: Jones is ahead now statewide. Both statewide...
J. KING: ... if the republican vote...
BLITZER: He's ahead by what, 490 votes or so. So it's very, very, very close. You know, it's getting extremely exciting.
J. KING: It is extremely exciting. And again, we've still got a ways to go still. But this write-in number has dropped Roy Moore under 50 percent and put Doug Jones into play. A lot of democrats thought they got to get this up to two that would be key factor...
BLITZER: And explain the write-ins. These are primarily republicans who didn't want to vote for Roy Moore.
J. KING: We'll have to see. Well, actually get to count them, you know, the (Inaudible). But remember, the state senator Richard Shelby, who happens to be ironically...
BLITZER: He was at...
J. KING: ... is the last democratic to win a Senate seat back in 1992, switched parties along with so many democrats across the south in the mid-90's to be republican. He urged people with Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday. He urged republicans to write somebody in. He said he could not vote for Roy Moore.
We talked a lot about the Trump effect tonight. That's not a giant number, but was the effort by senior republicans in the state, like Senator Shelby in the final days, does that help? We'll see.
Taking 10,000 votes right now, we've got more votes to count. It will be a key question I think as we get later through the night here as to whether, we talk about, you know, Steve Bannon, we talk about Donald Trump, did the message from the state senator, senior republican senator help vote for Roy Moore, write-in another republican? It could make a difference in this close of a race.
BLITZER: Look how close it is. It's only about 500 votes right now. Let's talk about the outstanding vote because that's going to make all the difference right now. Let's take a closer look.
J. KING: Let's go north to south, if you will. We'll start up here in Madison County. Again, anybody looking into this race knew this would be key to the race. Doug Jones is performing quite well here, 90 percent of the vote.
BLITZER: You've got to feature statewide where we can see the outstanding vote, right, you can show us that.
J. KING: We can see the statewide...
BLITZER: What's that reporting out?
J. KING: If we go into here, we pop over here, and we pop out. So these are precincts that are 100 percent. You see a lot of them coming up right there. So now I'm going to go back and see what's left out.
So precincts, we have 75 percent of the vote. You can see here the places where we're waiting for big chunks of vote, right. You get down to see the difference, blue, blue, blue, a little bit of red here in Shelby County.
But if you're looking for what is the outstanding vote in those places so far, the vote has come in overwhelmingly democratic. So that's one little clue as you look at a right there. I want to pull this over here I just come back out and take this
function off and come back and look. You come back here, I just want to take -- I want to check this out. I haven't looked at this for a long time.
So, again, Shelby County, republican suburbs of Birmingham, Judge Moore is winning there. But I just want to go show you something from the 2016 presidential election.
BLITZER: Take a look statewide...
J. KING: Look at that number there. Just look at the number. This is the suburban republicans, the margin the president was getting, Judge Moore is not getting tonight. You want to come back statewide.
BLITZER: Yes. But take a look at the lead that Doug Jones now has. It's growing, 572,000. It's almost 10,000 -- it's a 10,000 vote lead that all of a sudden the democratic Doug Jones has over the republican Roy Moore.
2And he's got 49.7 percent to 48.7 percent, a very significant development at this late stage. Eighty nine percent of the vote in, that means 11 percent still outstanding. But a lot of those counties where the vote is outstanding those are blue counties.
J. KING: Yes. And you start talking 10,000, 12,000 votes when you're up around 90 percent it gets hard to make up this special election, so let's see what happened.
Here's one of the reasons. So we just looked up here earlier at Madison County now up to 90 percent reporting, and Doug Jones keeping that healthy lead. That's one reason he pulled up more of the votes came in from there, up to 73 percent. We were at 66 percent just a few minutes ago here in Jefferson County.
And again, keeping a pretty healthy margin there more than 70,000, 74,000 votes by the rough math there, keeping that. So as more votes are coming in these key blue counties, he's maintaining or you know, not shrinking his lead.
Let's still check down in here. Finally up to 57 percent here down in Mobile County. And it's a little bit closer than it was before. But again, a healthy lead for Doug Jones where you can do the math. Almost 10,000 votes right there.
J. KING: You start to pull this out, you start thinking if you're Roy Moore right now, where can I find these votes, and again, when you start looking around these rural areas or the ruby red areas, he's got a problem.
BLITZER: One hundred percent.
J. KING: Hundred percent.
BLITZER: Hundred percent.
J. KING: Sixty three percent here in Shelby County. Let's keep an eye on this. This is more populated, 4 percent of the population, so let's keep an eye on Shelby County and the neighboring Jefferson County which is now up to 73 percent. And close elections, urban vote has to turn out, they're settled in the suburbs. That's what we're going to do count the votes right here.
[22:25:01] BLITZER: It looks like 11,000 vote lead right now for Doug Jones, the democrat which is dramatic shift only in the last what, 10, 15 minutes.
J. KING: Right. So now you're just waiting on the final votes. And you know, you just talk to Judge King. We have our people going into these places, imagine what is going on in the two campaign headquarters right now as they call in to all of these key places.
OK. A hundred percent in Tuscaloosa County but only 73 percent in Jefferson County. So you want to find out what's out. Is it in here in the city area or is it more out here in the suburbs where Roy Moore, at least if he doesn't win Doug Jones gets a smaller margin?
If you're looking at Shelby County, are they the close in votes here, are they closing suburban votes where Doug Jones might be doing a little better than normal because of the allegations against Judge Moore because of his past controversies or are they more out here where they're more reliable republicans.
That's what the candidates and the campaign headquarters are doing right now as they try to figure out what is left. And again, this is a big basket of votes in a place where Doug Jones is winning huge. This is the largest chunk I can still see out. Montgomery here, half of the votes still out and then Jefferson County.
BLITZER: All right. Let's go back to Jake. Jake, you've got some information as well.
JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN: Well, this is stunning turn of events. And we're going to go to our reporters who are in the campaign headquarters for this two candidates.
The last we look Doug Jones up by 11,000 votes. The democrat leading in deep red Alabama. And Alex Marquardt is in Birmingham, Alabama at Doug Jones campaign headquarters. It sounds like people there are getting excited, Alex.
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Jake, this room has been erupting in cheers over the past few moments. They are watching you guys break down these numbers, watching CNN. You can hear those screams going up. The music just stopped. Everyone very excited as these numbers come in.
Now I was just speaking to the senior strategist for the Jones campaign, Joe Trippy. He was saying that they are ecstatic as they see these votes come in. They feel very good about their chances. They have previously said that this was going to be very close. That this was going to be a coin toss.
They are waiting for Jefferson County. They are waiting for Montgomery, for Mobile, for Tuscaloosa. But now with all these new numbers coming in, they're feeling extremely confident. They know that they have this lead. They think they will keep it. Not just in boiler room upstairs, not just in the suite where Doug Jones is, but here in this room as well. You can hear it, Jake.
TAPPER: Alex Marquardt in Birmingham, Alabama with the Doug Jones democratic campaign headquarters.
Let's go to Kaitlan Collins who is in Montgomery, Alabama where Judge Roy Moore's campaign headquarters is located. And Kaitlan, it's obviously a lot more quiet where you are and an emcee just a minute ago said that they're doing a lot of praying there in Montgomery.
KAITLAN COLLINS, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, CNN: Yes, that's right, Jake. It might be the opposite of what we just heard from Alex Marquardt. It is not nearly as loud in here and it has grown actually quite quiet from the last time I spoke with you.
And Roy Moore had just come through the room here in his election night party, shaking hands, taking pictures. And now that we're seeing these numbers grow closer and closer and see Jones take a lead while these precincts are still reporting, it has gotten very quiet and gloomy in this room. The campaign officials have disappeared and texts are going unreturned but things have certainly grown quite here, Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Kaitlan Collins in Montgomery, Alabama at the Roy Moore campaign headquarters with 90 percent of the vote in. Democrat Doug Jones is up by 11,000 votes. About 1 percentage point.
Dana, a stunning turn of events. I think there are a lot of people that were very skeptical that this race was actually going to be as close as it is, much less that Doug Jones potentially, potentially might even win this race in deep red Alabama.
DANA BASH, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Jake, let's just take a step back.
TAPPER: Let's go to Wolf Blitzer for a second, I'm sorry.
BASH: Go ahead.
BLITZER: We have a major projection right now. And CNN projects Doug Jones, the democrat, he will be the next United States senator from Alabama. He beats Roy Moore in this really, really exciting contest.
Doug Jones comes from behind, takes the lead and now CNN projects he will be the next senator. First time in 25 years that a democrat will be elected senator from the State of Alabama. A ruby red state, a very republican state.
But Doug Jones, Doug Jones is the winner. CNN projects that he is the winner in this race. This is huge moment, a huge win for the democrats, a huge setback for the president of the United States.
They're getting excited over there at Doug Jones headquarters. Let's go over to Doug Jones headquarters. Alex Marquardt, you're there. They just got the news. We made the projection. Doug Jones has been elected. The United States senator from Alabama.
[22:30:01] MARQUARDT: Wolf, it is absolutely deafening in here. This news just coming across the screen there from the horse's mouth. I can barely hear myself. Absolute jubilation.
This is coming in a lot sooner than people thought. I've been told by senior campaign sources that they're expecting this to go on all night. They thought it was going to be extremely close and that it would come down to a coin flip.
And now here at in this ballroom, at the Birmingham Sheraton, you've got people pouring in to see the fact that for the first time in 25 years a democrat will be representing Alabama in the Senate.
This was always going to be a competitive race. But it was Roy Moore's race to lose, those allegations against him made this a very competitive race. The last few days Doug Jones has been -- has mounted a massive get out to vote campaign to peel off republicans and African-American voters. Clearly that paying off. Just listen to this crowd as they erupt in celebration.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN: Alex, standby, we're going to get back to you. Lots of excitement over there at Doug Jones campaign headquarters in Alabama.
He has been elected, CNN projects he is the winner. Jake, this is huge win for the democrats. A come from behind win for the democrats. A huge setback for Roy Moore but also a huge setback for President Trump.
JAKE TAPPER, HOST, CNN: First of all, in terms of big picture, I mean this definitely does show that there are standards and there are limits to what voters will accept even in this era of tribes. Even in this era where democrats and republicans stick to their teams, root for their teams there is still a point past which some people will not go.
And that point in this race obviously has to do with the accusations, the allegations, ugly allegations of child sexual abuse against Doug Jones -- I'm sorry, against Roy Moore, the judge.
Second of all, obviously, the balance of power in the Senate is now 51 to 49.
DANA BASH, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Right.
TAPPER: That makes it even tougher for legislation, as we've seen a lot of these big major pieces of legislation that will affect people's lives have been defeated or won only by one or two votes.
And then third of all, I have to say, this is huge defeat for President Trump.
TAPPER: This is deep red Alabama. President Trump made the calculation that he was going to double down, he was going to stick with this candidate, the candidate who followed the Trump playbook for when they are allegations against you. Just deny them all and attack the people accusing you. And it failed.
And it failed not only in an embarrassing way. It failed in one of the most republican states that there is. A state so republican the last time they elected a democratic to the Senate, two years later he changed parties and became a republican.
This is deep, deep red. Trump trounced Hillary Clinton in this state. But tonight a democrat won. And it's a resounding rejection of everything that republican and what President Trump was standing for.
BASH: When the President Trump chose Jeff Sessions, the then-senator from Alabama to be the attorney general, no one even considered the notion of what we're seeing right now, that a democrat could be the one to win his seat.
But it is this stunning turn of events particularly within this Republican Party and the fact that they had such a flawed candidate. Republican after republican told me and I'm sure you too, Jake, that this is probably the worst republican candidate that they have fielded in forever.
And so, that really has come back to haunt republicans. The irony of this -- the irony is that you're seeing and hearing the cheering at the democrat's headquarters because they won. I guarantee you there is is cheering or if not cheering a very loud sigh of relief among republicans in the Senate.
TAPPER: The Senate...
BASH: That they don't have to deal with expulsion. They don't have to deal with Roy Moore around their neck dealing with -- having the idea that there is a republican senator who did the things that he did allegedly in terms of...
BASH: ... abuse and everything else that he stood for.
TAPPER: The thing is also in terms of the big fight that we've been seeing every day since President Trump, since Donald Trump entered the race, establishment republicans versus the insurgent republicans or the disrupting republicans, Bannon and Trump, the establishment republicans were so against Roy Moore as John noted, the senior republican Senator Richard Shelby actually came on my show on Sunday and basically told republicans write-in a candidate.
TAPPER: The majority leader, the speaker of the house, all -- Ivanka Trump, all of them against Roy Moore.
[22:35:01] The head of the national republican senatorial campaign committee, Senator Cory Gardner, republican of Colorado, very conservative senator. He would not endorse or support Roy Moore in anyway.
Jeff flake, the conservative republican senator from Arizona, sent a check to Doug Jones the democrat.
TAPPER: They were completely against it. But the Trump-Bannon wing, they were all in.
BASH: And there's another -- we can see Charles Barkley, by the way, at Doug Jones' headquarters there. Charles Barkley, of course, an Alabama native and went down and did a lot of heavy campaigning for Doug Jones.
But you mentioned Donald Trump. I cannot tell you how hard the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell begged and pleaded with the president of the United States according to people I talked to, not to go all in on Roy Moore, not to endorse him, not to put his own reputation on the line, but more importantly try to help Roy Moore.
And now obviously with the benefit of hindsight Mitch McConnell was right. He wasn't trying to save Donald Trump from himself. He was trying to save the reputation of the Republican Party and the United States Senate.
But looking back, if the president had heeded those warnings and those calls from his republican counterpart in the United States Senate, he wouldn't have this embarrassment tonight. And it is an embarrassment. There's no question about it.
BASH: That President Trump against the advice of so many people went all in for Roy Moore, and he lost.
TAPPER: And the thing is he was advised not to by people in the White House. People in the White House tried to keep him out of this race, but he insisted he wanted to be in that race.
And the thing is this is not the last time you're going to hear Roy Moore's name in this election -- in this election cycle, yes. But Roy Moore is going to be hung around Donald Trump's neck in 2020, and perhaps beyond that. But this is going to be a major issue. Donald Trump supported this alleged child abuser, sexual child abuser. That charge doesn't go away anytime soon. Anderson. ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, CNN: Jake, thanks very much. I want to go to
our panel. I mean, Bakari, you actually campaigned for Doug Jones. Obviously you're very much...
BAKARI SELLERS, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: No. I mean, for me there are two things. I mean, the raw emotion of victory on election night is something that democrats haven't felt for a long time on a night like this when it's been up and down and topsy-turvy. And so you just exude this joy.
I mean you're just so ecstatic right now. But there are two thing that I think are apropos for tonight. The first is, I went down to Tuskegee. And at the start of like colleges and universities they have them, you know, cafeteria days. On Wednesdays it's like fried chicken Wednesdays. On Friday it's seafood.
We went on seafood Friday. And to watch the kids that everybody know who Doug Jones was and come to him, and he spent time talking to every single person, every single voter. And he talked to the cafeteria ladies, the people who were shaking hands. For him to get this victory means so much.
But even more importantly than that, we read all the articles about the Washington Post, and that New York Times and everybody go -- Huffington Post, everybody going and talking about black voters about black voters not being excited of coming out.
You know who won this race, the butts that came in Selma, Alabama. Selma, Alabama, tonight turned Alabama into a blue state even if it is just for a moment. So you have to sit that -- we will worry about how he's going to legislate in a red state tomorrow, but tonight there are a lot of people who are drinking Hennessy in Alabama. And we are excited about the victory, and you all got to let us have it.
RICK SANTORUM, SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Roy Moore turned Alabama into a blue state, not Donald Trump. Donald Trump -- I mean, I love you, Jake, but to say this is on Donald Trump, Donald Trump tried to rescue a campaign that was doomed. And he put everything in to try to risk it. It wasn't his candidate. He didn't endorse him in the primary...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went on...
COOPER: Let's have Jake -- I want Jake to be able to respond.
TAPPER: I just want to clarify. I don't want to get into this. Obviously this is Roy Moore's loss, no question. My point is it's a loss also for President Trump because he attached himself to Roy Moore.
SANTORUM: Well, he attached himself to Roy Moore only to try and save a campaign that was doomed. And I don't think anyone would suggest that Roy Moore would have won the race had Donald Trump would have not been...
TAPPER: No, no. President Trump, I'm sure President Trump made it much more competitive. There's no question about that. The point is the calculation that some of his advisers and republicans on the Hill were making was this guy is going to lose, and he has this taint of these horrific allegations, President Trump don't get involved in this.
But President Trump thinking that he is his own best political strategist opted not to do it. But I completely agree with you, this loss is Roy Moore's and any other normal republican would be winning tonight. But I think that it was a questionable decision by the president to choose to...
[22:39:56] SANTORUM: OK. That's not what you said, but I do accept the fact that...
SANTORUM: ... he did not make -- well, in the end he didn't make a wise decision to endorse him because we lost. But you can say that at he fought for what he thought was important, which is that 52nd vote, you yourself said it's going to be very difficult for republicans to pass any legislation and Donald Trump is the president...
SELLERS: With all due respect to everyone around the table, this is not about -- tonight is not about Donald Trump. Tonight is not about Roy Moore. We hashed all of that out. The reason the Democratic Party won is because we had a legitimate candidate to run up against a flawed candidate. And we're going to -- and we're going to -- we have to embrace Doug Jones. He ran the perfect race for this moment.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM, SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Can I just say, we should say a big thank you to Alabamians. I mean, it was democrats, it was independents, it was moderate republicans. And they...
SELLERS: It was mothers, it was young. It was -- everybody.
GRANHOLM: I'm just saying this was such a great night. And for Alabama and for democrats, Bakari, we are -- it's so great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the head of this -- I think the head of this is not just in Alabama.
COOPER: All right. All right.
AMANDA CARPENTER, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: I don't think you can dismiss the Trump factor in this race. I look at this race and I think the reckoning has continued. It has gone down to Alabama. Because Donald Trump across the country, look at what happened in Virginia, the governor's race where you have blown up.
This is the second time in Donald Trump, his mistreatment of women, the hostility towards minorities has activated something within the country where republicans -- Jeff Sessions won that seat by more than 90 percent in 2014. Any republican should have won that seat by double digits in their sleep. And republicans lost it tonight.
CARPENTER: They don't think it's about Donald Trump, they're drinking that Hennessey with the democrats.
GLORIA BORGER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Let me just say -- and this is something that the governor has said before, which is that candidate recruitment now for democrats is going to go crazy. It's because they believe they can win.
And the civil war in the Republican Party, not to say there are many differences among democrat, but in the Republican Party is going to get even worse.
Just tonight the Senate leadership fund issued a statement, CEO Steve Law there said, "This is brutal reminder that candidate quality matters regardless of where you are running. Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most republican states in the country, but he also dragged the president of the United States into his fiasco."
OK, that is republican pact. And the NRSC was a little more politic, but basically said the best candidate won in different words.
DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: Can I -- can I just say a few things? I want to echo one thing Bakari said. Just as someone who practiced this campaign politics for a long time, Doug Jones ran an extraordinary campaign. He had a very narrow needle to thread, and he threaded it very well.
And, you know, including not bringing national politicians into the state until the end, working the African-American communities very, very hard and that turn out made the difference. The turnout in the African-American communities relative to these white rural counties was much, much higher. And that was the difference in this race.
But it is a -- it also is true that it was a very, very cynical play to try and drag Roy Moore who was so deeply flawed across the line. Whenever you have to hide your candidate for the last week and put him in a witness protection program of some sort, that is bad sign.
And everyone who supported him or tacitly supported him were complicit in that strategy. And it was what Rick said, they wanted that 52nd vote. But something Trump even a 52nd vote and that's a pun. And one of them is fundamental decency. And that is a lot what you heard a lot of tonight in Alabama.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER, CNN: Yes. And I think Charles Barkley in many ways made a very effective argument to voters in Alabama, too, which is, is this the message we want to send to the nation and to the world about Alabama?
Southerners have struggled so long in terms of their reputation, in terms of their history, and the history in the difficult history, particularly along racial lines that have existed in the south.
So he said send a message, you know, essentially don't make us look stupid on the national stage. That was his message to a lot of voters, and I think a lot of them took his advice.
DAVID CHALIAN, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, CNN: The other thing I think it's important to note here, the United States Senate is in play in 2018. That's not something we would have said before tonight. Democrats that's around the table I'm not saying it's going to be easy for them at all.
[22:44:57] But for the entire year this year looking at the landscape it was all about the House of Representatives being the thing that's in play next year. You're now at 51-49 split, instead of 52-48, it is impossible.
Looking at the democratic enthusiasm that we've talked about at these elections, whether they've won or loss to not say that the control of the United States Senate in next year's mid-terms is now in play.
AXELROD: I would also add, and Dana would know a lot more about this than me, but I think there were the other sort of happenstance winners here were people like Susan Collins, Bob Corker, Flake who now are more powerful in a Senate that is 51-49 rather than 52-48 and have more leverage.
COOPER: Let's actually bring in Dana. Dana, do you want to weigh in on this?
BASH: No, absolutely. It's the people who are on the fence, on many of these legislative fights -- they already have leverage, and now they're going to have even more leverage come early next year. Because we should also make the point that Doug Jones is not likely to be actually seated until the beginning of January.
So in the most immediate fight which is over tax reform, this is something that republicans already were trying to do by the end of the year, and you can bet that they're going to try even harder to get a House Senate compromise and get something to the president's desk before the already thin margin in the Senate gets even thinner.
And I can tell you even before we got these results, I was e-mailing with a republican senator who said that they were watching with one eye but also working on this compromise on tax reform with the other, in anticipation of the end of the year but also what was happening in Alabama.
COOPER: Senator Santorum, do you agree with David Chalian that the Senate could be in play?
SANTORUM: Given the makeup of who's up, I think it's still going to be a stretch for the Senate to be in play this election cycle. Look, as bad of news this is for republicans, it is a very clear warning shot that -- and I'm going to agree with Amanda here.
I think the president's demeanor and the way he has been so hostile in attacking people, I've said many times it's just -- it's just debilitating. It just -- it just wears out a lot of people who would otherwise look at this national economy, look at some of the other great things this administration is doing and are just -- are just get worn-out by it, and worn-out by the daily controversy coming out of the president's Twitter feed.
And did have an impact? I had no doubt that had an impact in Alabama. There's no doubt in my mind it softened the playing field.
But to go back to my point, this is Roy Moore's loss. When Roy Moore had these charges brought against him on Jake's show, I said get out of the race. There's no way you're going to win this race. As much as they tried to drag him across the finish line, there's no way he's going to win this race...
BASH: It is Roy Moore's block.
SANTORUM: And he should have got out of this race.
GRANHOLM: It is Donald Trump's loss. It is Steve Bannon's loss. And just watch, I'm curious to know tomorrow morning what is Donald Trump...
SANTORUM: Steve Bannon, he endorse him...
GRANHOLM: ... wait, let me just finish.
SANTORUM: ... he know about this.
GRANHOLM: What is Donald Trump going to be tweeting tomorrow morning? Is he going to be trying to discredit this election, that it was a fake election that there were people who shouldn't have voted?
COOPER: What he may be tweeting about is actually USA Today and their editorial.
GLORIA: Yes. USA Today which is not known for its hot editorials just had one this evening which said that President Trump has shown he is not fit for office, a president who would all but call Senator Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama presidential library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush. So he might be tweeting about that tomorrow morning.
But it's kind of stunning, and it speaks to the point that Senator Santorum is making, which is why does he do this? Why does he do this to himself?
SANTORUM: He is doing it to himself.
BORGER: And it is self-destructive.
SELLERS: But let me -- let me ask a question about -- I'm around the table with people who have in politics a little longer than I. Have you seen anybody...
BORGER: Stop reminding that.
SELLERS: ... have you seen anybody who's gotten this far in life, never working for anybody else changed? I mean, are we expecting that this defeat tonight or that anything that he said or USA Today op-ed?
AXELROD: I mean, this has always been the question, Bakari, being much closer in age to him than you, I will tell you that it gets hard to change and he clearly is someone who hasn't show that capacity to change or grow. He takes umbrage at every offense he response in kind. And we that with Senator Gillibrand and...
[22:49:54] COOPER: I also want to show a tweet that Jeff Flake has just sent out. I want to put up on the screen. "Decency wins."
SELLERS: My only point in bringing that up is that Donald Trump is going to be the same Donald Trump in the 2018 elections. And what that means, yes, the Democratic Party has a huge foil. But even more importantly that than, Donald Trump still controls the republican base.
So, if Donald Trump goes in or Steve Bannon goes in and throws their weight 2around there's still going to be a hard time for moderate -- there's two states to watch out for. One is Nevada, the other is Arizona. Those are the two states...
GRANHOLM: That Steve now is...
SELLERS: I don't know about...
SELLERS: I'm going to let you... CARPENTER: I want to make the point that what happened tonight makes it so that Donald Trump will be less willing to listen to anyone else in a Republican Party. He took Mitch McConnell's advice at first, got behind the wrong candidate, Luther Strange, then he followed Steve Bannon's lead and got behind Roy Moore. Donald Trump lost twice listening to republicans so now he's going turn...
CHALIAN: In the states that he says he understands the voters better than almost...
CARPENTER: Now I believe he will turn further inward and be even more unpredictable.
CHALIAN: I think Rick and Amanda have made your point. I mean, I don't want to put words in your mouths, but what I'm hearing from you guys tonight is that Donald Trump's behavior in office is a problem for the Republican Party.
CHALIAN: I mean, I don't want to be -- like you just have two...
AXELROD: I have to say...
CHALIAN: ... republicans say that.
AXELROD: I'm not sure this is breaking news.
BORGER: But the thing is, he will not blame himself.
CARPENTER: Of course not.
BORGER: So tomorrow will be of coursing. I'd like to be in a meeting with Mitch McConnell who won't say, I told you so, Mr. President, but I'd love to be in meeting with republican leaders as they try and hash out this tax reform bill. The president is supposed to speak. But what does he do, who does he blame now, Ivanka? I mean, what is he...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he listen the thing...
CARPENTER: Ivanka would have made the right call here.
SELLERS: The amazing thing about this discussion as he that what we've been able to hide as democrats is we have a problem as well. Because what we're trying to do is sort out what type of party we want to be. What Doug Jones showed tonight is that there's a wing in the party that wants a litmus test. And Doug Jones doesn't fit anybody's litmus test.
Doug Jones shows and Virginia shows the best candidates are those who reflective of the values of their state. You can't have a national...
COOPER: There's Doug -- and there's Doug Jones. Let's listen in. His family's joined him on stage. He's obviously going be speaking momentarily. Let's just listen in for a moment.
COOPER: David, you talked about the kind of race that Doug Jones ran, what did he do right?
AXELROD: Well, he stayed out of -- he stayed out of the sort of updraft of national politics. Focused very much on Alabama and Alabama issues. He didn't let himself -- he was -- they tried to portray him as a sort of quintessential Washington liberal. He stayed out of that. He was very low key.
He didn't jump on the Roy Moore thing in a craven way from the beginning. And he handled himself with dignity, but his organization built on the ground. There wasn't a democratic organization to speak of in the state of Alabama, statewide, and he had to build and they had to build an organization to bring out the kind of vote that they brought today.
And then the use of the Obama robo call, Governor Patrick, Cory Booker, and others who came in late, of course, Bakari Sellers needs to be mentioned in this pantheon of political leaders. It was done at just the right time and just the right way.
I mean, you always look great when you win. OK, you're never as smart as you look when you win and never as dumb as you look when you lose. But this was truly a well-conceived campaign and had to be to produce a result in a state like this.
HENDERSON: Yes, and then you add the write-ins, you know, 18,000 or so went to the write-in, just wrote somebody in to sort of Shelby effect there.
HENDERSON: And then he just didn't do as well. Roy Moore didn't do as well with white women voters, even though he won them, but he just didn't perform as well as an average republican. So all of those things that need to happen, it was a perfect storm. [22:55:02] AXELROD: He also used -- he also used his republican
validators in his advertising very effectively.
AXELROD: Sessions and Shelby and Ivanka Trump and that I think had some impact in dampening turnout.
COOPER: Let's listen in to Doug Jones.
DOUG JONES, (D) ALABAMA SENATOR-ELECT: Thank you. Thank you. Everyone, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My folks, I got to tell you, I think that I have been waiting all my life and now I just don't know what the hell to say.
Let me -- if you will indulge me just a moment. No, let's just get sworn in first before we -- folks, I'm overwhelmed but I want to -- let me first make a couple of kind of brief comments.
You know, I have said throughout this campaign that I thought that December 12th was going to be a historic day.
But -- but I got to tell you, and you know where I'm headed, December 12th has always been a historic day for the Jones family. This is, as you know, mine and Louise's 25th wedding anniversary.
I could not -- I could not have done this without her. The love, support, and the encouragement. Earlier in the evening when she just kind of kicked me in the rear end when I was down. So this has been a wonderful night. I got to thank my family. I've got my wonderful sons, Carson, Christopher. My daughter, Courtney. My beautiful granddaughter.
Her son-in-law. All these friends back here. U.S. attorney buddies. My mom who can't make it here.
My dad who's here with us in spirit who's too ill, and unfortunately my sister, Terri, and her husband, Scott, Terri Savage and Scott Savage, hey, girls, thank you. Thank you. She couldn't make it, either.
I am truly overwhelmed. I am truly, truly overwhelmed. But, you know, folks, and you have all heard me say this at one point or another in this campaign, I have always believed that the people of Alabama have more in common than to divide us.
We have -- we have shown not just around the State of Alabama but we have shown the country the way that we can be unified.
We have spent so many hours, I have got so many people that I can thank, but I will tell you just very quickly, there are three people that I want to acknowledge tonight because if it wasn't for them, we would not be here.
They're the folks that sat me down in early May and said, Doug, you can do this, and they showed me the way. And I want to make sure that everyone in this room -- we had an incredible staff. It started with a small group of folks, Jess and Wade and Trey and Garrett.
But the three people I need to acknowledge before I go any further, I have the greatest political consultant in the world in Joe Trippi.
I know you're tired of seeing my ads, but they were all Joe's work and he showed me the way. Doug Turner, we've been friends for so long, showed me the numbers. And then the one that I called the Yoda of the campaign, Giles Perkins.