Black Voters in Alabama Pushed Back Against the Past

 In U.S.

In Alabama, he said: “You can’t go two miles without some Confederate emblem or icon or flag taunting you.” He added: “It’s not a fantasy in this state to say we want to turn back the clock.’’

According to CNN exit polling, 30 percent of the electorate was African-American, with 96 percent of them voting for Mr. Jones. (Mr. Jones’s backers had felt he needed to get north of 25 percent to have a shot to win.) A remarkable 98 percent of black women voters supported Mr. Jones. The share of black voters on Tuesday was higher than the share in 2008 and 2012, when Barack Obama was on the ballot.

The effort was nourished by a concerted, well-organized get-out-the-vote effort started by Democrats and their allies that was custom-built for black Alabama voters. One program, a partnership between two national political action committees, boasted that its activists knocked on more than 520,000 doors, with 200,000 knocks coming in the last four days of the race.

They often had to do little by way of convincing. At Mr. Jones’s jubilant victory celebration on Tuesday night, several black voters said they had long harbored a distaste for the fiery brand of evangelical politics that Mr. Moore had relied on to court working-class whites. Devon Crawford, 24, a divinity student at the University of Chicago, said he came home to vote against Mr. Moore.

Mr. Moore’s version of Christianity, he said, “sanctifies the truth-making power of white men” and was “really just a masquerade for white supremacy.”

Many others said that the Jones campaign uncorked the intense feelings of alarm and distaste that many African-Americans harbor toward President Trump, who gave Mr. Moore his full-throated endorsement.

Photo

Voters outside a polling station in Dothan, Ala. According to CNN exit polling, 30 percent of the electorate was African-American, with 96 percent of them voting for Doug Jones.

Credit
Audra Melton for The New York Times

Ms. Thompson, 68, said that she and many of her fellow black voters were worried that Trumpism and a Republican-led Congress would chip away at protections for poor and working-class Americans. “But it’s a matter of character for us, too,” she said.

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