Alabama Republican Moore refusing to concede US Senate race
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Alabama Republican Moore refusing to concede US Senate race

Candidate puts his hopes in military votes still being counted to reduce victory margin to the 0.5% needed for a recount

Alabama Republican candidate Roy Moore refused to concede the US Senate election that he lost Tuesday despite US President Donald Trump — a Moore backer — tweeting his congratulations to the Democratic winner.

“When the vote is this close, it is not over,” Moore told supporters after US television networks projected Doug Jones the shock winner of the election in the deeply conservative state of Alabama.

“The votes are still coming in,” the Christian conservative said, referring to ballots of military personnel. “God is always in control.”

His fiery positions have alienated women, racial minorities, gays and Muslims — in addition to multiple allegations that he was guilty of sexual misconduct with teens, one only 14, when he was in his 30s.

Moore signaled that he would call for a recount.

Doug Jones is greeted by a supporter before speaking during an election-night watch party in Birmingham, Alabama, December 12, 2017. (John Bazemore/AP)

Campaign chairman Bill Armistead said that because the vote is close and approaching the state’s recount requirement, “we do not have a final decision on the outcome.”

But Alabama law says an automatic recount is triggered only when the vote margin is within half a percent.

With 99 percent of all precincts reporting, Jones’s margin of victory was three times that: 1.5 percent.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told CNN that it would be “highly unlikely” at this point that a recount would change the result of the election.

If the secretary of state determines there were more write-in votes than the difference between Jones and Moore, the state’s counties would be required to tally those votes. It’s not clear how that would help Moore, who ended the night trailing Jones by more than 20,000 votes.

A number of Republicans declined to support Moore, including Alabama’s long-serving Sen. Richard Shelby. But Trump lent his name and the national GOP’s resources to Moore’s campaign in recent days.

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