Republicans now have only a one-seat majority in the Senate after Doug Jones' surprise victory in Alabama — here's what that means for 2018

Doug Jones' surprise victory in the Alabama special election on Tuesday night shrunk the Republican Party's Senate majority to just one seat, setting the stage for a potentially eventful 2018.

Jones, the first Democrat elected to the Senate in Alabama in more than two decades, could act as a roadblock to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party's legislative agenda, which, nearly one year into Trump's first term, has had precious little to celebrate aside from a Republican tax bill the passed in the Senate earlier this month.

That bill is now being debated in the House, where speaker Paul Ryan and other top party leaders are eager to put together a final bill for Trump to sign.

But that tax bill, much like other key planks of Trump's legislative agenda, are deeply unpopular, making the necessity of a congressional majority crystal clear for Trump. He has publicly acknowledged his need for GOP votes in his last-ditch efforts to stump for Alabama Republican Roy Moore, in what turned out to be an unsuccessful Senate campaign.

39 PHOTOS
Reaction to Doug Jones winning the Alabama Senate race
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Reaction to Doug Jones winning the Alabama Senate race

Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore to claim deep-red Alabama Senate seat on Tuesday, December 12.

**Click through the slides to see how lawmakers and notable figures reacted.**


(REUTERS/Marvin Gentry)

Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a… https://t.co/QLFQ88UaLM
Tonight, Alabama voters elected a senator who'll make them proud. And if Democrats can win in Alabama, we can --… https://t.co/m18Cuh5Iuc
Doug Jones. Thank you, Alabama. You’ve elected a man of incredible integrity, grit, and character. A fighter for wo… https://t.co/sOLcmRMQOk
Selma, Lord, Selma. It’s no coincidence that Selma, where blood was shed in the struggle for voting rights for Blac… https://t.co/loo5c2cuo5
Congrats, @GDouglasJones, on your win in Alabama! This is a victory for showing up, fighting to the end, and standing for what’s right.
Doug Jones wins!! In spite of suppression efforts. In spite of Trump. In spite of Bannon. In spite of fear monger… https://t.co/XqWjqqqKiR
Tonight Alabama is sending a powerful message across the country. The American people will fight back against bigot… https://t.co/x99pI2BK4o
Decency wins
Congratulations to my friend @GDouglasJones. He'll be a great colleague. President Trump went all in for Roy Moore,… https://t.co/tSfAQj6qZ0
Welcome to the Senate Doug Jones!
Thankfully, today enough Republicans chose country over party. Tomorrow we must redouble our efforts to support can… https://t.co/IMQrXqyUrF
Thank you Alabama and thank you Doug Jones. https://t.co/o8NXvTrTUX
Congratulations Alabama!!!! https://t.co/jfgPTMqYPp
Suck it, Bannon
God don’t like ugly.
Hot DAMN
Thank you, Alabama!
Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity, Alabama. And thank you for fighting for what’s right, @GDouglasJones.… https://t.co/K8aHz18wpX
Could it be true? Did the bad guy lose this time?
Fifty years after the murders of Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair at the… https://t.co/ITWvv7nQzM
Charles Barkley finally won the championship!! @GDouglasJones
Congratulations to Senator-elect Doug Jones and thank you to the people of Alabama. Now let’s begin the hard work o… https://t.co/aGuWLNwGzw
Look forward to calling @GDouglasJones a colleague in Congress. Congratulations, Senator-Elect. The people of Alaba… https://t.co/LKUKhjlPt2
I am grateful to the women who had the courage to come forward. Because of them and so many others like them, we ar… https://t.co/w8HTiubCPH
And Steve Bannon strikes again. Any other republican primary candidate would have won tonight. GOP shoots themselve… https://t.co/d15CIDhEcH
“Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but… https://t.co/FyRu6hCRjM
Winners tonight: Black voters, Democrats, Establishment Republicans, Ivanka Trump, Black voters, decency, Black vo… https://t.co/l5wQZ7wXbx
Big win for America. Congrats to Doug Jones. Rejection of Trump and hatred. Game on! 🍻
THANK YOU, ALABAMA!
The voices of bigotry and intolerance are loud, but tonight the people of Alabama were louder. Congratulations Se… https://t.co/WQn9AMRM9C
This puts the US Senate in play in 2018. NEVER EVER GIVE UP ON ANY STATE
Shout out to every last one of you who knocked on doors this week
Alabama Rocks!!!!!
Way to go Alabama! Let’s @BoBikesBama !!
1) MCConnell deserves a lot of the blame for Alabama. Mo Brooks would have won by 20% of the vote, and McConnell in… https://t.co/dWq1Y47SP1
Congratulations, Doug Jones. You were a great US Attorney, and you ran a terrific campaign. You deserve this win. I… https://t.co/NSfv16OTwx
Truly a sad day in Alabama. This is the result of Republican voter suppression. Way to go Richard Shelby👍 you led 2… https://t.co/1BbcHLCP5K
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Earlier this year, Republicans failed in dramatic fashion in their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act — despite persistent prodding from Trump. One of those moments came in July when Sen. John McCain of Arizona went against his own party to cast the vote that killed a so-called "skinny" repeal.

Trump's proposed wall along the US-Mexico border has also seen little progress aside from contracts being awarded for border-wall prototypes. The president has frequently needled lawmakers who have been hesitant to appropriate funds for the wall, and has urged them to push forward his aggressive immigration agenda, often in the aftermath of terror attacks in the US and abroad.

With Republicans now holding just a one-seat majority in the Senate, and with GOP Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona; Susan Collins of Maine; and Bob Corker of Tennessee positioned as wild cards there, Trump's legislative goals could face steeper challenges heading into 2018.

Beyond that, Tuesday night's election in Alabama — and Democrats' wave of electoral victories just last month in Virginia and New Jersey — have also set the stage for a potentially fierce midterm election next year.

But further Democratic momentum is not guaranteed. The party has 25 seats to defend in the Senate, compared to eight seats on the Republican side. In the House, where Republicans have held the majority since 2010, Democrats need to take back 24 seats to climb back over the top.

37 PHOTOS
Scenes from inside Doug Jones and Roy Moore election night parties
See Gallery
Scenes from inside Doug Jones and Roy Moore election night parties

A supporter of democratic U.S. Senator candidate Doug Jones cries as Jones is declared the winner during his election night gathering the Sheraton Hotel on December 12, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Doug Jones defeated his republican challenger Roy Moore to claim Alabama's U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Supporters react as results show a tight race between Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore during his election night party in the RSA Activity Center on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones in the special election for the U.S. Senate.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Supporters celebrate after media began to call the election for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones, at his election night party in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017.

(REUTERS/Marvin Gentry)

Supporters react as results show a tight race between Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore during his election night party in the RSA Activity Center on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones in the special election for the U.S. Senate.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Supporters of democratic U.S. Senator candidate Doug Jones celebrate as Jones is declared the winner during his election night gathering the Sheraton Hotel on December 12, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Doug Jones defeated his republican challenger Roy Moore to claim Alabama's U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Supporters react as results show a tight race between Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore during his election night party in the RSA Activity Center on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones in the special election for the U.S. Senate.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Democratic U.S. Senator elect Doug Jones greets supporters during his election night gathering the Sheraton Hotel on December 12, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Doug Jones defeated his republican challenger Roy Moore to claim Alabama's U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Supporters of Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore watch for results at an election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 12, 2017. Democrat Doug Jones scored a victory Tuesday in a fiercely contested US Senate race in conservative Alabama, dealing a setback to US President Donald Trump, whose candidate could not overcome damaging sexual misconduct accusations. With 92 percent of precincts reporting, former prosecutor Jones secured 49.5 percent of the vote compared to Roy Moore's 48.8 percent, CNN and other networks reported.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters react as results show a tight race between Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore during his election night party in the RSA Activity Center on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones in the special election for the U.S. Senate.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Supporters of democratic U.S. Senator candidate Doug Jones celebrate as Jones is declared the winner during his election night gathering the Sheraton Hotel on December 12, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Doug Jones defeated his republican challenger Roy Moore to claim Alabama's U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Supporters of Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore hug as they watch results at an election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 12, 2017. Democrat Doug Jones scored a victory Tuesday in a fiercely contested US Senate race in conservative Alabama, dealing a setback to US President Donald Trump, whose candidate could not overcome damaging sexual misconduct accusations. With 92 percent of precincts reporting, former prosecutor Jones secured 49.5 percent of the vote compared to Roy Moore's 48.8 percent, CNN and other networks reported.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 12: Alabama Democrat Doug Jones poses for a selfie as he celebrates his victory over Judge Roy Moore at the Sheraton in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. Jones is faced off against Judge Roy Moore in a special election for Jeff Sessions' seat in the U.S. Senate. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Supporters of Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore wait for results at an election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 12, 2017. Democrat Doug Jones scored a victory Tuesday in a fiercely contested US Senate race in conservative Alabama, dealing a setback to US President Donald Trump, whose candidate could not overcome damaging sexual misconduct accusations. With 92 percent of precincts reporting, former prosecutor Jones secured 49.5 percent of the vote compared to Roy Moore's 48.8 percent, CNN and other networks reported.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters of democratic U.S. Senator candidate Doug Jones celebrate as Jones is declared the winner during his election night gathering the Sheraton Hotel on December 12, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Doug Jones defeated his republican challenger Roy Moore to claim Alabama's U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A supporter holds a sign at Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

A supporter holds up a "Bikers For Trump" sign as he attends Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman)

A supporter of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore prays after media began to call the election for rival candidate Democrat Doug Jones, at Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman)

A costumed supporter checks results on her phone at Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

A supporter holds a sign during Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones' election night party in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017.

(REUTERS/Marvin Gentry)

Supporters of Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore watch for results at an election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 12, 2017. Democrat Doug Jones scored a victory Tuesday in a fiercely contested US Senate race in conservative Alabama, dealing a setback to US President Donald Trump, whose candidate could not overcome damaging sexual misconduct accusations. With 92 percent of precincts reporting, former prosecutor Jones secured 49.5 percent of the vote compared to Roy Moore's 48.8 percent, CNN and other networks reported.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters of Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore hug as they watch results at an election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 12, 2017. Democrat Doug Jones scored a victory Tuesday in a fiercely contested US Senate race in conservative Alabama, dealing a setback to US President Donald Trump, whose candidate could not overcome damaging sexual misconduct accusations. With 92 percent of precincts reporting, former prosecutor Jones secured 49.5 percent of the vote compared to Roy Moore's 48.8 percent, CNN and other networks reported.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

A supporter wearing a "Bikers For Trump" emblem on his hat attends Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman)

"Make America Great Again" hats lie on a table at Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Supporters pray during the invocation at Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman)

Supporters of Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore wait for polls results at an election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 12, 2017. Alabama voters were casting the last ballots Tuesday in a pivotal US Senate contest between a Republican dogged by accusations he once preyed on teenage girls and a Democrat seeking an upset win in a deeply conservative southern state.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

MONTGOMERY, AL - DECEMBER 12: A woman wears an 'I Voted' sticker as she awaits the arrival of Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore for his election night party in the RSA Activity Center on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones in the special election for the U.S. Senate.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Supporters recite the Pledge of Allegiance as they await the arrival of Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore for his election night party in the RSA Activity Center on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones in the special election for the U.S. Senate.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Supporters react as results show a tight race between Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore during his election night party in the RSA Activity Center on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones in the special election for the U.S. Senate.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Democratic Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones acknowledges supporters at the election night party in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S., December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
Attendees react to election results during an election night party for Roy Moore, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. Democrat�Doug Jones�delivered a stunning upset defeat to Republican�Roy Moore�in a U.S. Senate race in deep-red Alabama that had split the GOP even before its controversial nominee was accused of inappropriate conduct with teenage girls. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee uses her phone during an election night party for Roy Moore, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. Democrat�Doug Jones�delivered a stunning upset defeat to Republican�Roy Moore�in a U.S. Senate race in deep-red Alabama that had split the GOP even before its controversial nominee was accused of inappropriate conduct with teenage girls. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendees pray during an election night party for Roy Moore, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. Democrat�Doug Jones�delivered a stunning upset defeat to Republican�Roy Moore�in a U.S. Senate race in deep-red Alabama that had split the GOP even before its controversial nominee was accused of inappropriate conduct with teenage girls. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendees react to election results during an election night party for Roy Moore, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. Democrat�Doug Jones�delivered a stunning upset defeat to Republican�Roy Moore�in a U.S. Senate race in deep-red Alabama that had split the GOP even before its controversial nominee was accused of inappropriate conduct with teenage girls. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
BIRMINGHAM, AL - DECEMBER 12: Democratic U.S. Senator elect Doug Jones (L) kisses his wife Louise Jones (R) during his election night gathering the Sheraton Hotel on December 12, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Doug Jones defeated his republican challenger Roy Moore to claim Alabama's U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Supporters of Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore sing gospel after election results show Moore lost, in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 12, 2017. Democrat Doug Jones scored a victory Tuesday in a fiercely contested US Senate race in conservative Alabama, dealing a setback to US President Donald Trump, whose candidate could not overcome damaging sexual misconduct accusations. With 92 percent of precincts reporting, former prosecutor Jones secured 49.5 percent of the vote compared to Roy Moore's 48.8 percent, CNN and other networks reported. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, AL - DECEMBER 12: Democratic U.S. Senator elect Doug Jones greets supporters during his election night gathering the Sheraton Hotel on December 12, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Doug Jones defeated his republican challenger Roy Moore to claim Alabama� U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions.�(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)� (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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See Also:

SEE ALSO: Alabama projected to elect Democrat Doug Jones as next US senator in upset special election

DON'T MISS: Republicans blame Steve Bannon for Roy Moore's shocking loss in Alabama

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