Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led the Democratic celebration Tuesday night after Doug Jones shocked the world as the won a Senate seat from the blood-red state of Alabama.
Jones, a former federal prosecutor, appeared to be a great candidate without a chance in the world. Roy Moore, despite having been kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court twice, was expected to win handily despite a history of racist, homophobic, and downright wrong statements.
Then The Washington Post published the allegations of a woman who said that Moore sexually molested her when she was just 14, and several other women revealed they dated Moore when they were teenagers and he was a 30-something prosecutor.
Shortly after, another accuser accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.
A number of residents from Moore’s hometown of Gadsden came forward to claim Moore was such a predator he was banned from the local mall for bothering young girls.
Then the numbers came in. Black voters, and black women in particular, came out in staggering numbers to back Jones and oppose the accused child molester.
— Aᴋ (@aksala13) December 13, 2017
Jones won, even though Moore refused to concede after.
“Tonight, Alabama voters elected a senator who’ll make them proud,” Clinton wrote on Twitter. “And if Democrats can win in Alabama, we can — and must — compete everywhere. Onward!”
Tonight, Alabama voters elected a senator who'll make them proud.
And if Democrats can win in Alabama, we can — and must — compete everywhere.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 13, 2017
California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is frequently mentioned as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, predicted that the win shows that “Democrats can win anywhere in 2018.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 13, 2017
And Democrats have a lot of reasons to be optimistic. While the Alabama race was a unique situation that featured a rare party-endorsed alleged serial child predator, the Democrats’ prospects are quickly improving heading into a 2018 midterm that looked like a tall task for the left.
After winning in Alabama for the first time in 25 years just a month after winning the Virginia gubernatorial race as well as a shocking number of state legislature seats, the Democrats are eyeing seats they never thought they would.
According to Alabama Public Radio, Democrats are running legitimate candidates in all of Texas’ 36 congressional districts heading into 2018. In 2016, the GOP won every statewide race in Texas and Trump won the state by nine points. Of course, Trump won Alabama by nearly 30 points.
“We are seeing a groundswell of unusually high support and mobilization among progressive Democrats who are really angered by the Trump administration,” Rice University political science fellow Mark Jones told APR. “We are seeing Democrats come out to run not only for the goal of challenging and doing something to voice their opposition to President Trump. But we are seeing Democrats come out in several districts where, in the past, Democrats had no chance whatsoever and had a difficult time recruiting top-quality candidates.”
Heading into 2018, the Democrats are seeing a perfect storm of mobilization. Trump’s approval ratings are at historic lows. Republicans continue to try to pass horrifically unpopular legislation. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run inspired a plethora of young, diverse, and progressive candidates to run for local office. The women’s march and the #MeToo movement has motivated women like never before. And now, they have the momentum having won in states they never dreamed of competing in.
Get ready for a lot of angry morning toilet tweets from the president next year.