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Alabama's Roy Moore loses, but refuses to concede

Doug Jones' election victory was certified today. This is the point at which Roy Moore should concede the race -- but he still doesn't want to.
Image: Embattled GOP Senate Candidate In Alabama Judge Roy Moore Continues Campaigning Throughout The State
BIRMINGHAM, AL - NOVEMBER 16: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore speaks as his wife Kayla Moore looks on during a news conference with...

"How someone loses has always said more about character than how someone wins," the Alabama Media Group's Kyle Whitmire explained today. "That is, as long as you know how to lose -- with class, with character. This month, Roy Moore showed Alabama how not to lose. He had no class. He showed no character. But perhaps most importantly, he had no case."

It's been two weeks since the right-wing Senate candidate came up short in Alabama's U.S. Senate special election, and today, state election officials certified Sen.-elect Doug Jones' (D) victory. Moore filed a last-ditch lawsuit, hoping to prevent the certification, and pointing to odd, evidence-free allegations of fraud.

That didn't turn out well.

Alabama officials certified the results of its special Senate election Thursday, officially naming Democrat Doug Jones the victor not long after a judge rejected a last-minute challenge from Republican Roy Moore.Late Wednesday, hours before the Alabama State Canvassing Board was scheduled to meet Thursday to certify Jones' victory, Moore and his campaign filed a lawsuit alleging that voter fraud had tainted the election results and requesting that certification be delayed.

At this point, the process has run its course. Voters have cast ballots, the ballots have been counted, and the results have been certified. Jones will be sworn in as Alabama's junior senator when Congress gets to work in the new year.

This is the point at which Moore should concede the race -- but he still doesn't want to.

"Election fraud experts across the country have agreed that this is a fraudulent election," he said in a statement to NBC News.

In case anyone's curious, this in no way reflects reality. Moore's political operation appears to be basing much of its case on the findings of a conspiracy theorist who wrote a book about the JFK assassination. Actual experts have concluded that Moore has no legal leg to stand on.

Indeed, Alabama's Republican-run state government has responded to assorted claims, but has found no evidence of fraud.

But in a practical sense, whether Moore concedes or not is of no real consequence, beyond adding to the disgraced former judge's public humiliation. It's a nicety of our political system, and a polite way of honoring election results, but concessions are not a necessary step in the process. Jones will be sworn in as a U.S. senator in January, whether his formal Republican rival acknowledges his defeat or not.