WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats said on Wednesday their U.S. Senate victory in Alabama could lead to a sweeping comeback for the party in 2018 elections while Republicans sought to assess blame for a defeat in one of the nation’s most conservative states.
Doug Jones, a Democrat and former federal prosecutor, won the special election on Tuesday night after a bitter campaign that drew national attention amid sexual misconduct accusations against conservative Republican candidate Roy Moore.
President Donald Trump had endorsed Moore and the loss was a stunning upset for him and fellow Republicans, narrowing their majority in the Senate to 51-49. It also boosted Democrats who hope to retake control of Congress in elections next November.
Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said the Alabama outcome would not affect his policy agenda. Republicans are rushing to pass a tax reform package by the end of the year Jones is expected to take office in early January after the election results are certified.