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Opinion: Democrat Doug Jones' win in Alabama will not impact the GOP agenda

Doug Jones waves to supporters before speaking during an election-night watch party Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Judge Roy Moore, a deeply flawed candidate, lost to Democrat Doug Jones by 1.5 percent. Had the election been centered on the issues - tax reform, infrastructure, small government - a Republican would have likely held on to that senate seat.

In the end, Roy Moore proved to be too controversial, too divisive.

Doug Jones and the Democrats are not the only winners of the election.

Senate Republicans had a meeting scheduled to decide what to do about Roy Moore if he had won. They can now breathe easier.

Yes, the margin in the Senate is now 51 - 49, but Vice President Pence is the tie-breaking vote. Tax reform is not threatened because of that and because Doug Jones will not formally replace the interim Alabama Senator, Republican Luther Strange until January.

Moreover, if Doug Jones has reelection hopes in deeply-red Alabama in 2020, when his opponent will likely not be as problematic as Moore, he may not be a consistent Democrat vote in the Senate.

Let’s not forget that the last Democrat-elected senator in Alabama was current Republican Richard Shelby, who switched parties during his first term.

Of course, 2018 midterm elections are key to determine control of the Senate, but that would have been the case no matter what the result was in Alabama.

Here is the bottom line: this election was a loss for Roy Moore and other controversial candidates who may have trouble winning primaries in 2018. It was not, however, a rejection of Republican policies and does not impact the ability of the GOP to achieve its key agenda items such as tax reform.

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