In 2017 Mr Jones introduced himself as a figure in conciliation, and now campaigning he brags about the legislation he sponsored with Republicans and takes pains to note that he votes with the Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, also often as he votes with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. He launched his re-election around the idea of “One Alabama”, pledging not to lead a campaign that was “us against them or good against evil”.
But public polls showed Mr Jones was following Mr Tuberville, who has kept a low profile on the election trail, in low double digits. And as he overtakes former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential candidate, Mr Jones would need a significant number of Republicans to share their tickets in a state where Mr Trump has won by 28 points in 2016.
“Alabama remains a deeply Republican state,” said David Hughes, professor of political science and pollster at Auburn University in Montgomery. “While Doug Jones has done a really good job positioning himself to surpass those traditional expectations, there is still a very steep hill to climb to cross the hill as the winner.
His grim re-election chances, coupled with his close relationship with Mr Biden, fueled speculation that he could be hired as attorney general if the Democratic presidential candidate defeats Mr Trump. At a recent rally in Leeds, he told voters how Mr Biden, who practically addressed the crowd, called him late one night in 2017 to encourage him to run for the Senate.
“He said, ‘Doug, you have an opportunity,’” Mr. Jones recalls. “’You have an opportunity with your background, your story, your compassion, to try to help people. You have the opportunity to redeem the soul of Alabama. ”
But Mr Jones, for now, is convinced that the only perch in Washington that interests him is the Senate.