(CBS) -- In Alabama, Democrat Doug Jones eked out a narrow win against Republican Roy Moore, marking the first time a Democrat won a Senate seat in the largely Republican state in 25 years. Moore, who faced a series of allegations of sexual misconduct, nonetheless managed to retain the near unanimous support of members of his own party, as well as the strong support of conservatives and whites - particularly white evangelicals, white voters without college degrees, and white voters who live in rural areas. But Jones was buoyed by surprisingly strong turnouts among Democrats and African Americans, as well solid support from younger voters, moderates, and women. He also eked out a slight win among independents.
Although Moore voters disregarded both the veracity and importance of the allegations against him, most of those who voted for Jones said the allegations were probably true, and that it was an important factor in their vote. Slightly more voters had a favorable opinion of Jones (50 percent) than said that about Moore (41 percent), and exit polling showed Jones voters as more strongly behind their candidate: three in four Jones voters said they strongly favored him, compared to just over half of Moore backers who said the same about their candidate.
Jones' victory is all the more remarkable in that it didn't rely on many Republicans defecting to the Democratic side. Less than one in 10 Republicans crossed party lines to vote for Jones. But Democrats – who overwhelmingly favored Jones – came out in stronger numbers, trailing Republicans in vote share by just six percentage points. And Independents - who make up just one in five voters in this highly partisan race – also favored Jones by nine points: 52 percent to 43 percent.
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