Facing what polls say is an unlikely re-election next week, Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones voted against Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination Monday.
Mr. Jones had made it clear before Justice Barrett was nominated he would not support any choice by President Donald Trump, although polls showed a majority of Alabamians supported her nomination and that of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whom Mr. Jones also voted against.
State Republicans lashed out at Mr. Jones for what they said was final insult to most of his constituents.
“Sen. Doug Jones continued to thumb his nose at our state’s majority with his ‘no’ vote,” state GOP chair Terry Lathan said. “He has once again put the interests of his left wing groups first while ignoring those he is supposed to represent.”
Alabama Republicans often refer to Mr. Jones as “California’s third senator” because he has sided repeatedly with liberal coastal Democrats to oppose several of Mr. Trump’s key initiatives.
Mr. Jones faces Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville, a former Auburn football coach who is endorsed by Mr. Trump, in next week’s election. Mr. Tuberville earned the slot handily defeating former Alabama GOP senator and attorney general Jeff Sessions in the primary.
Many polls show Mr. Tuberville with a double-digit lead over Mr. Jones, and the incumbent trails by a -10 margin in the Real Clear Politics polling average. Alabama is considered one of the deepest red states in the U.S., and Mr. Trump won there in 2016 with 62% of the vote.
Shortly after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month, Mr. Jones made clear he would not support any nominee offered by Mr. Trump.
The Tuberville campaign criticized Mr. Jones for aligning with the Democratic congressional leadership over the largely conservative populace he represents. In blunt terms, Mr. Jones rejected the concept he has any duty to represent Alabamians, calling that “not the be all to end all” when he voted against Mr. Kavanaugh.
“Ever since becoming our temporary senator, Doug Jones has opposed everything Alabamians support and supported everything Alabamians oppose,” Mr. Tuberville said, labelling Mr. Jones “a liberal to the core.”
This year’s Senate race in the Yellowhammer State has been a relatively low-key affair compared to the special election to replace Mr. Sessions in 2017.
In that race, allegations surfaced that the Republican candidate, former state supreme court justice Roy Moore, had sexually assaulted young women decades ago when he was beginning his legal career. Mr. Moore denied all allegations, but Mr. Jones managed to eke out a victory with 49.9% of the vote to Mr. Moore’s 48.3%.