Black voters in Alabama — particularly black women — voted overwhelmingly in favor of Democrat Doug Jones, according to exit poll data.
Making up 17% of the voters, 98% of black women who voted on Tuesday cast their ballots for Jones, while just 2% voted for Republican Roy Moore, exit polls showed.
Compared to the 2012 presidential election, 95% of black women voted for President Barack Obama and 4% voting for Mitt Romney, and made up 18% of voters.
Additionally, black men, who made up 11% of the vote on Tuesday, voted 93% for Jones.
Black voters typically vote overwhelmingly Democratic: they cast ballots for Hillary Clinton nationwide by a 89% to 8% margin in the 2016 presidential race, and even broader margins for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
But black voters made up 29% of the vote in Alabama in Tuesday’s election — a larger-than-expected share more comparable to the composition of the electorate in a presidential race for Obama than an off-year special election.
Exit polls also revealed a gender gap that worked in favor of Jones, with women voting for the Democrat with a 57% to 41% margin.
Jones was named the winner Tuesday night, but the margin remained neck-and-neck for the entirety of election night.
Leading up to the special election to fill now-US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former seat, national figures from both parties had stepped up support for both candidates.
Despite accusations against Moore that involved sexual abuse from many years ago, President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee had pledged their support for the Republican candidate last week.
But Jones’ message at his rally Monday night just hours before the polls were set to open was clear: get out and vote.
And it seems that message worked.