Usually, election night anxiety is reserved for special November nights every few years. But as we are living in hell, Tuesday, Dec. 12 is also a day for obsessively refreshing your Twitter feed and watching CNN, blood pressure rising, thanks to the special election for an empty Senate seat in Alabama. From the moment the polls closed until the race was called was a rollercoaster of emotions, and these tweets about the Alabama election will tell you everything you need to know.
At 10:29 p.m. ET on Dec. 12, the Associated Press called the election for the U.S. Senate seat for Democrat Doug Jones, in an upheaval for the deep red state. At Doug Jones' headquarters in Alabama, the crowd was in an uproar, cheering, celebrating, and just generally freaking out. It was a moment that many people never thought would happen in the deep South.
But, uh, why did we have an election in Dec. 2017? When Attorney General Jeff Sessions was confirmed to his current position as the head of the Department of Justice, his U.S. Senate seat representing Alabama was left open. After a late September Republican primary, in which Moore beat Trump favorite Luther Strange, the campaign between Moore and Jones began.
At the beginning of the night, things looked good for Jones, which The New York Times's Nate Cohn said boded well— but as we all knew from 2016, that meant nothing until the final results were in.
But when the results were called, people were shocked nonetheless.
For a lot of people, the victory was all the sweeter due to the contrast between the candidates. Moore was an extremely controversial candidate, as the former judge was accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, the youngest of whom was 14 years old when she alleges he had sexual contact with her. (Moore has denied the allegations of misconduct.) He has also been quoted as saying that all Amendments after the 10th, including the Amendments that abolished slavery and gave women the right to vote, should be abolished, eliminating "many problems" for the United States. He has also stated in the past that he believes homosexuality should be illegal.
Jones, on the other hand, is most famous for successfully prosecuting members of the Ku Klux Klan who firebombed a black church in Birmingham in 1963, killing four girls. This is the attorney's first time running for office.
Despite some shocking moves — like his wife's assertion at a rally that Moore couldn't be anti-Semitic because one of their lawyers is Jewish, and being interviewed by a 12-year-old girl after accusations of sexual misconduct with teenagers — Moore won late-deciding voters, according to NBC News's Alex Seitz-Wald.
Jones, on the other hand, won moderate voters, a large bloc.
So it was tight. Before the election many people feared this would just be a repeat of the 2016 presidential election, in which Donald Trump won despite regularly insulting women, people of color, at least one person with disabilities. Trump won largely due to white voters — including white women — and the Alabama exit polls were looking similar.
But they were belied by the ultimate results. When CNN called the race shortly after 10:30 p.m. ET with 99 percent of the vote in, Jones had won 49.5 percent of the vote, compared to Moore's 48.8 percent. It wasn't a landslide — but it was enough to claim a victory. It was a difference of only slightly less than 9,000 votes.
When Jones took the stage to thank his supporters shortly before 11 p.m. ET, he said he was overwhelmed.
"I think I have been waiting all my life and now I just don't know what the hell to say," he said.
Well, Twitter sure did.