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Moore leads by two percentage points in new poll

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, November 21, 2017, the Raycom News Network and Strategic Research released a poll showing Judge Roy Moore up by two points over former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones.  The Moore campaign had been easily outdistancing the Jones campaign and appeared to be running away with the race, until a Washington Post story torpedoed the Moore campaign alleging improper treatment of women by a single Moore after he finished law school. The Raycom poll from November 8; before the release of the women from the 1970s allegations that made national and international news; showed Moore up by 8 points.

The exclusive poll of 3,000 likely Alabama voters reports that if the election were held today, Judge Moore would receive 47 percent of the vote.  Democrat Doug Jones would have 45 percent and three percent report that they are going to write in a candidate.  Only five percent are still undecided.

WBRC and Raycom did not release specifics on the poll’s methodology.

Earlier polls by Fox News and Gravis had Jones winning by eight and five percentage points.  Moore’s possible recovery in this poll suggests that voters have digested the details of the Moore sex scandal and appear to be moving on from the scandal, which has dominated the news coverage of the campaign for the last 13 days.

45 percent of voters believe all or some of the allegations against Moore.  74 percent of Democrats believe the accusations; but 48 percent of Republicans said that they do not believe the allegations.  24 percent of Republicans answered that they do believe some or all of the allegations about Moore; but that it is not going to change their vote.

The poll was conducted Monday night. To be considered a “likely” voter in this election, the respondents were identified as active registered voters who participated in either the 2016 General Election for president or the 2017 primary for the Alabama Senate seat and must have said “yes” when asked if they plan to vote in the December 12th special election. 58 percent of respondents identified as typically voting in the Republican primary, 34 percent identified themselves as typical Democrat primary voters. Eight percent considered themselves as independent or not typically voting in party primaries.

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The big question is what voters are going to turn out in a single candidate race on December 12 amidst all of the increasing Christmas holiday festivities and football distractions.  Will Republicans be so demoralized by the Moore scandal that they just don’t turn out or will Moore’s core supporters be so energized that they turn out in sufficient strength to overwhelm Democrats and moderate Republicans who switch sides due to concerns over Moore.

Alabama Senate President Del Marsh, R-Anniston, believes that the negative coverage from the national press and the insults that Moore has received from Washington establishment will ultimately work in Moore’s favor and Republicans will turn our for Moore.

In an interview with Breitbart News, Marsh said, “I think if Washington keeps up with what it’s doing and if the press keeps up what it’s doing – that will do nothing but solidify Moore’s base and ultimately I think keeps Republicans voting Republican.”

Moore emphatically denies accusations that he ever sexually mistreated any women and has rejected calls from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, to step aside and is fighting on despite the negative media attention his candidacy has gotten.

On Tuesday Moore said, “Republican voters in our state have spoken loudly and clearly by giving me an overwhelming victory in the primary and runoff. I will do everything in my power, and with the help of Almighty God, I will ensure that we win the election and keep this seat.”

President Donald Trump appears to have accepted that Moore is the Republican Party’s best, last hope to hold on to the vitally important Senate seat.  “We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat, Jones. I’ve looked at his record. It’s terrible on crime. It’s terrible on the border. It’s terrible on military,” Trump said Tuesday.  “I can tell you for a fact we do not need somebody who’s going to be bad on crime, bad on borders, bad for the military, bad for the Second Amendment.”

Alabama has not elected any Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1992 when voters re-elected Richard Shelby (he switched parties in 1994).  Jeff Sessions had held this seat for 20 years until he stepped down to become U.S. Attorney General earlier this year.  Moore soundly defeated Gov. Robert Bentley’s appointee, Luther Strange, in the Republican primary runoff despite $30 million being spent in the primary by McConnell and the Washington D.C. establishment trying to elect Strange.  No Democrat has won any statewide race in the state of Alabama since 2008 when former Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley narrowly defeated Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh for Public Service Commission President.  Cavanaugh unseated Baxley in 2012.

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To see Rick Journey’s original reporting for Raycom News go to:


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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