Exit polls help explain how Alabama elected a Democrat to the US Senate for the first time in 25 years.
Doug Jones’ victory over Roy Moore on Tuesday came in a state that voted overwhelmingly for Republican Donald Trump last year.
The charts below show results from exit polls of more than 2,300 voters in Tuesday’s election – and they help show the makeup and thoughts of the people who decided to send Jones to Washington.
Nearly all self-identifying Democrats – 98% – voted for their party’s guy, Jones, and just more than half of independents picked him. But Jones also received a slice of support from Republicans – 8% of them crossed party lines to vote for him.
In a race where more Republicans appeared to vote than Democrats (43% to 37%), Jones benefited from his edge with independents and the support he chipped from Moore’s party.
Younger voters (ages 18 to 44) generally went for Jones – 61% to 38%. Older ones favored Moore (54% to 44%).
Although the older crowd voted in greater numbers (65% were 45 and older), Jones’ margin of support with younger voters was larger than what Moore pulled from older ones.
A majority of polled voters – two in three – were white. And about 68% of those white voters went for Moore.
But Jones made up for that deficit by dominating the black vote. Of the 29% respondents who were black, nearly all (96%) said they went with Jones.
Gender and race
Women made up a slight majority of voters (51%), and most of them voted for Jones (57%). Most men (56%) went for Moore.
So we’ve established that Jones enjoyed an advantage among black voters generally, and women voters generally. Where Jones really separated himself was among black women.
While a majority of women overall voted for Jones, nearly two-thirds of white women voted for Moore. By contrast, nearly every black woman voter (98%) who was queried in exit polls said she voted for Jones.
A vast majority of black men (93%) also went for Jones.
Most voters had at least some college education, if not a degree. Among those who have at least graduated from college, Jones fared better.
Moore has been accused of pursuing sexual relationships with teenage girls while in his 30s, including allegations that he molested a 14-year-old and assaulted a 16-year-old. He has denied wrongdoing.
Six in 10 voters said the allegations were a factor in their selection. Of those, 68% said they went with Jones.
Most voters (65%) didn’t have children under 18 in their homes, and among this group, Moore had a slight advantage (50% to 49%).
Among the 35% voters who did have children in their homes, most (56%) chose Jones.
Jones did especially well with mothers who had children living with them. Two in three of these went for the Democrat. By contrast, most fathers who had children living with them went for Moore (56%).
The Trump/McConnell factors
Voters’ opinions of Trump generally seemed to coincide with their vote in Tuesday’s Senate race.
Voters appeared split on their opinion of the President – 48% approved and 48% disapproved. Those who approved generally went with Republican candidate Moore and vice versa.
But Jones pulled more support from voters approving of Trump (9%) than Moore drew support from those who disapprove of the President (6%).
Support, or distaste, for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t seem to be as great a predictor. Two in three voters said they had an unfavorable opinion of the Kentucky Republican. Among those, Jones had only a slight edge (50% to 48%).
Among the slim percentage of voters who said they viewed McConnell favorably, Jones still pulled 46% of the vote.
The vast majority of those who described themselves as somewhat or very liberal went for the Democrat, while most conservatives chose Moore.
But Jones also scored among those describing themselves as moderates. More than three in 10 said they were moderate, and 74% of those voters said they chose Jones.
The percentage of voters who said only Jones shared their values was close to the percentage of those who said the same of Moore.
But Jones managed to get votes from a tiny amount (2%) of those who said only Moore shared their values. Moore pulled no support from those who said Jones was the only candidate sharing theirs.