Why Black Voters Backed Doug Jones: ‘It’s a Matter of Character for Us’ ~ NYT

14blackvoters1-master768.jpgDoug Jones greeted voters outside of a polling station in Bessemer, Ala. on Tuesday. Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Devon Crawford, 24, a black Alabamian, came home from the University of Chicago to vote against the Republican Roy S. Moore in the special Senate election here.

Mr. Crawford, who is earning a master’s degree in divinity, was standing near the stage at the victory party for Mr. Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, arguing that Mr. Moore’s Christianity did not square with the vision of faith shared by so many black civil rights leaders whose blood was shed on Alabama soil.

Supporters of Doug Jones watched live results on Tuesday night at the Sheraton Hotel in Birmingham.CreditBob Miller for The New York Times

Mr. Moore’s version, he said, “sanctifies the truth-making power of white men” and was “really just a masquerade for white supremacy.”

African-American voters like Mr. Crawford played a crucial role in Mr. Moore’s stunning upset loss Tuesday. According to CNN exit polling, 30 percent of the electorate was African-American, with 96 percent of them voting for Mr. Jones. A remarkable 98 percent of black women voters supported Mr. Jones. The share of black voters Tuesday was higher than the share in 2008 and 2012, when Barack Obama was on the ballot.

 Many black voters at Mr. Jones’s jubilant victory celebration here echoed Mr. Crawford in saying they had long harbored a distaste for the fiery brand of evangelical politics that Mr. Moore had relied on to court working-class whites. But many others said that the Jones campaign uncorked the intense feelings of alarm and distaste that many African-Americans harbor toward President Trump, who had given Mr. Moore his full-throated endorsement in the campaign’s final days.

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