Jones had widely been considered the most vulnerable incumbent facing reelection in 2020, and his seat was consistently number one on CNN’s ranking of the top 10 Senate seats most likely to flip.
The Alabama Democrat faced an uphill battle for reelection after winning the seat in a 2017 special election against scandal-plagued GOP candidate Roy Moore.
Tuberville, a former Auburn University football coach, portrayed himself as a close ally of President Donald Trump on the campaign trail, promising to “stand with President Trump” to deliver on conservative agenda items like cutting taxes. He went after Jones over his vote to convict Trump during the Senate’s impeachment trial and attempted to tie his opponent to well-known national Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democatic leader Chuck Schumer.
Jones, for his part, portrayed Tuberville as a threat to health care access and protections in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, Jones emphasized a message of unity — with a slogan of “One Alabama for Everyone” featured on his campaign website — that Alabamans should come together in support of common goals and priorities.
During the general election campaign, Jones outraised and outspent Tuberville. As of October 14, the Democratic senator had raised nearly $27 million, while his GOP opponent had raised about $8 million, according to Federal Election Commission data.
But that wasn’t enough to pull out a win in the deeply red state that voted for Trump by a double digit margin in the 2016 presidential election, and Tuberville succeeded in unseating the Democratic incumbent.
Tuberville advanced to the general election after initially defeating Jeff Sessions in a GOP primary runoff and was endorsed byTrump over the former attorney general who had been fighting to reclaim his old Senate seat.
Sessions was the first US senator to endorse Trump in the 2016 presidential race and was once a prominent figure in the Trump administration as the top official leading the Justice Department. But he fell out of favor with the President and became a target of Trump’s attacks after he recused himself while serving as attorney general from the FBI probe into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.