EVAN HOROWITZ | QUICK STUDY
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press
To stun the country and become Alabama’s first Democratic senator in 20 years, Doug Jones just had to do one thing: get more votes. And he did, making his margin of victory — 20,715 — the most important number of the night.
But if you’re wondering how he pulled off this upset, here are five of the key outcome-altering stats that propelled Jones to victory.
Turnout really mattered in Tuesday’s special election. Alabama’s secretary of state had said he expected roughly 25 percent of Alabamians to visit the polls, but 40 percent showed up.
And the longest lines were in the most heavily Democratic areas. Of the 15 counties with the highest turnout, 14 went for Jones — 10 of them by a large margin of 20 points or more.
Note, too, that the number of write-in votes actually exceeds Jones’ margin of victory. Had all those voters plumped for Moore, the Republican would have won. And while that may be a stretch, it's not entirely unreasonable. Many of these write-in voters could well be disaffected Republicans, influenced by the fact that there was a limited write-in campaign — and the fact that sitting Republican Senator Richard Shelby said he would be writing in a name rather than voting for Moore.
The Jones campaign felt that for them to stand any chance, black voters needed to cast at least 28 percent of all ballots — roughly the same level as during Obama’s 2012 campaign. And to their benefit, that turned out to be a slight underestimate, with black voters making up 29 percent of the Tuesday electorate.
This is why black turnout was so crucial. Virtually all black voters in Alabama favor Democrats. In this election, exit polls suggest that 93 percent of black men voted for Jones, along with a staggering 98 percent of black women.
On its own, “Mr. Jones goes to Washington” isn’t a game-changing story. The new senator may have his opportunities to shape policy, but what really matters is who controls the majority. And Jones’s victory doesn’t change that; it merely shrinks the Republican caucus from 52 members to 51.
But as small steps go, this one could ultimately make a big difference. With Democrats now in control of an Alabama Senate seat, their odds of retaking the majority in 2018 have increased, from 32 percent in Monday’s betting market to 46 percent after Tuesday.
That's really what all these numbers add up to, and why Jones’s win is so strategically important for Democrats. Not only does it weaken the Republican hold today, it also opens the way for a Democratic wave tomorrow.
Formed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, the company will be led by Brigham and Women’s surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande.Continue reading »
After operating in the Seaport since early 2017 with no safety issues, NuTonomy Inc. received approval to send its vehicles into the rest of Boston.Continue reading »
The high cost of housing in the region is forcing some recent college graduates to move back in with mom and dad to save money.Continue reading »
Foundation Medicine is a cancer-focused gene-sequencing company that recently won approval for a diagnostic test aimed at personalizing cancer care.Continue reading »
Check out the 25 organizations with 1,000 or more employees that made the Globe’s list of top workplaces.Continue reading »
James Batmasian’s properties house 444 apartments and range from a shuttered motel in Revere to an elegant 75-unit building in Mission Hill.Continue reading »
Retailers in Massachusetts often complain that their concerns aren’t heard on Beacon Hill. Well, legislative leaders are listening now.Continue reading »
Barry Arntz thought he and his sister owned the house passed down to them by their deceased mother “free and clear” — no mortgages, no liens, no encumbrances of any sort.Continue reading »
General Electric, an original member of the stock index, will be removed and replaced by Walgreens.Continue reading »