Former Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore has refused to concede the Alabama election to Democrat Doug Jones, asserting there could still be a recount that yields a margin of victory for his campaign. Both the Alabama secretary of state and President Donald Trump have acknowledged that Jones will be the state's next senator (video below).
On Dec. 12, Jones surprised political pundits and pollsters when he won the Alabama election, becoming the first Democrat to represent the deeply conservative state in decades.
"We have shown the country the way that we can be unified," Jones told supporters after the race was called, according to The New York Times. "This entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign has been about the rule of law."
The Alabama election drew national attention and controversy after several women accused Moore of sexual misconduct. One of Moore's accusers, Leigh Corfman, alleged the GOP candidate molested her when she was 14 years old.
Moore denied the allegations and was favored to win by polling groups. RealClearPolitics, after aggregating eight surveys released between Nov. 30 and Dec. 10, found that Alabama respondents favored Moore over Jones by an average 2.2 percentage point margin.
Trump, who had endorsed Moore and urged Republicans to vote for him during a Florida rally on Dec. 8, swiftly recognized Jones as the winner on election night.
"Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory," Trump tweeted. "The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win."
Meanwhile, Moore refused to concede the race and told his supporters the results could be overturned by a recount, USA Today reports.
"Realize when the vote is this close, that it's not over," Moore told his supporters during what had been expected to be a victory rally. "Wait on God and let this process play out."
Under state law, Alabama elections can be recounted when the margin of victory is less than 0.5 of a percenage point. Currently, Jones is projected to have defeated Moore by 1.5 points.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said it was highly unlikely the election results would require a recount.
"The people of Alabama have spoken tonight ... One of the things that is obviously recognized by using the equipment that we use in the elections process is that there's not a whole lot of mistakes that are made," Merrill told CNN.
On Dec. 13, Moore still had not conceded the race.
Former GOP Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee took to social media to urge the candidate to acknowledge Jones' win.
"Roy Moore won't concede; says will wait on God to speak," Huckabee tweeted. "God wasn't registered to vote in AL but the ppl who voted did speak and it wasn't close enough for recount. In elections everyone does NOT get a trophy. I know first hand but it's best to exit with class."