GOP Pickup: Tommy Tuberville Projected to Defeat Doug Jones in Alabama

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 5: Head Coach Tommy Tuberville of the Cincinnati Bearcats walks off of the field after calling a timeout during the fourth quarter of the game against the BYU Cougars at Nippert Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. BYU defeated Cincinnati 20-3. (Photo by Kirk …
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Former Auburn University football coach and Republican Tommy Tuberville is expected to defeat incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) in Alabama’s race for the United States Senate.

With nearly 1.6 million votes in, and 48 percent of precincts reporting, Tuberville leads Jones 61 percent to 38.7 percent.

As of 9:18 p.m. CT, the race has been called in Tuberville’s favor by the New York Times and the Associated Press.

What was viewed as a contentious race in Alabama after Jones defeated Republican nominee Roy Moore by a 1.63 percent margin, or a little more than 20,000 votes, in 2017, ended with a victory for Republicans on Tuesday.

Tuberville received an endorsementfrom President Donald Trump back in March, when Tuberville was still campaigning against former United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

”Tommy Tuberville is running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Alabama,” Trump wrote. “Tommy was a terrific head football coach at Auburn University. He is a REAL LEADER who will never let MAGA/KAG, or our Country, down!”

“Coach Tommy Tuberville, a winner, has my Complete and Total Endorsement,” Trump added, saying “I love Alabama!”

In addition to his endorsement from Trump, Tuberville also received endorsements from the Alabama Forestry Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, and Sessions.

Democrats and certain organizations attempted to prevent Republicans from taking back Jones’ seat by fueling money towards television advertisements against Jones’ challenger.

It was reported in late August that Duty and Honor had “launched a $500,000 television advertising blitz in support of Jones’ Yellowhammer State reelection bid.”

Last year, before becoming the Democrat vice presidential nominee, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) sent out a fundraising email to her supporters after it was reported that Sessions was preparing to announce a bid to return to the Senate.

The email solicited funds and also pledged to split each contribution raised between Harris and Jones.

“Doug Jones is a great Senator, a strong defender of civil rights, and a fighter for the people of Alabama. Let’s re-elect Doug and make sure Jeff Sessions never sets foot on the Senate floor again,” the email’s pitch stated.

In recent weeks, Alabama-based Yellowhammer News broke a story detailing a group’s support for Jones and Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, which offered Black Belt pastors $6 “per person” they get to vote early ahead of November 3’s general election.

Yellowhammer News’ Sean Ross also highlighted the spending throughout the presidential election, noting that “Jones raised $25,258,418.06 in his reelection bid, spending $24,851,769.65” and “Tuberville raised $7,226,009.13 and spent $6,730,151.08.”

Biden previously praised Jones ahead of the election, saying he needs “Doug’s voice in the Senate,” if he is elected president.

“I need Doug’s help in the Senate,” Biden said in an emailed statement. “You know, I always say this election is a battle for the soul of our country. In few places are those stakes as clear as in Alabama.”

“Every time we needed him to stand up for us, Doug Jones was there. I’m going to need Doug’s voice in the Senate,” Biden stressed.

Follow Kyle on Twitter @RealKyleMorris and Facebook.

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