U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) on Tuesday evening talked to with ABC News to accompany the 2nd night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The interview followed Jones the night previous delivered a primetime convention speech in which he gave a full-throated recommendation of presumptive candidate Joe Biden.
Speaking on “ABC News Live,” Jones started the more than six-minute interview by asserting, “I don’t believe [Alabama] is as deep-red as everyone states.”
He used his 2017 unique election victory as proof of that claim. It must be noted that Jones in that race directly beat the uniquely unpopular and under-siege Roy Moore by less than 22,000 votes; Jones amassed 673,896 votes to Moore’s 651,972.
Comparatively, Guv Kay Ivey in 2018 beat Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walt Maddox by just under 328,000 votes (1,022,457 votes to 694,495). While Maddox hardly picked up any additional votes relative to Jones, Ivey outshined Moore by more than 370,000 votes.
This was not a pattern special to the guv’s contest, either. In fact, Alabama Democrats were blown out in all statewide elections in 2018 and lost even more ground in state legislative races, with Republicans winning incredibly bulks in both chambers.
Despite this truth, Jones in his ABC News interview indicated the 2018 cycle as a favorable for Democrats in the Yellowhammer State and as another example of Alabama not being “deep-red.”
” [W] e had a great proving in 2018 for Democrats up and down the ballot,” Alabama’s junior senator said. “It’s not as deep-red as people think.”
After getting his commentary out of the way about previous election cycles, Jones turned his attention to the upcoming November general election. He is set to deal with Republican senatorial candidate Tommy Tuberville, while Biden and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) will make up the Democratic governmental ticket against President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
Jones was asked about the uphill battle he deals with getting most of Alabama citizens, who are extremely anticipated to offer the state’s electoral votes to the Trump/Pence ticket, to choose him as a Democrat down-ballot.
Trump has consistently taken pleasure in a few of his greatest, if not the highest, approval ratings in the Yellowhammer State. He beat Hillary Clinton in the state by 588,708 votes in 2016 (1,318,255 votes to 729,547), implying Jones might potentially need more than half a million Trump voters to divide their tickets in order to win reelection.
However, Jones revealed substantial optimism that Biden would win over Alabamians who chose Trump in 2016, perhaps increasing Jones’ candidateship at the same time.
“I believe [Biden] will definitely do that. I believe he’ll win over some of those (Republicans), however I believe he’s going to win a majority of the independent votes. We’ve still got a huge swath of voters in Alabama that are independents, and the truth is that in state races, with rare exceptions, they haven’t been offered a great deal of options,” Jones recommended.
“I believe [Biden] has a chance to win over a lot of folks … I doubt that he’s going to take Alabama– that would be a genuine shock if that’s the case,” the senator included. “However he’s going to do well in Alabama. He is going to do very well in Alabama. The people in Alabama understand Joe.”
Jones then framed Biden’s strong performance in the state’s 2020 Democratic main as proof of widespread, bipartisan Biden support in Alabama.
“He came down and campaigned for me, we had 1,200 people at the Birmingham Civic Center and about 200 more waiting in line …” Jones kept in mind. “So, I think he’ll do very well.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn