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Democrat Doug Jones leading Roy Moore by 10 points in Fox Poll as surveys diverge

Chip Brownlee

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By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

With less than 24 hours to go until polls open in the Senate special election, a new Fox News Poll shows Democratic candidate Doug Jones with a sizable 10-point lead over Republican Roy Moore.

The poll, released Monday morning, shows Jones with consolidated support among Democrats, a large lead among independents and one-in-10 Republican voters crossing over to vote for the former U.S. attorney. Such a coalition has been the hope of Jones’ camp since the race began.

Fox’s poll, which comes after another poll released Monday morning by Emerson College gave Moore a 9-point lead, is a shocking outlier. Polls in recent weeks have bounced back and forth between Jones and Moore, but the Real Clear Politics average of polls gives Moore a 2.5-point lead.

Fox News’ poll is the first poll since November to use live dialers. Other polls, conducted by Emerson, Gravis Marketing and WBRC-TV, which all gave Moore solid leads, used automated voice response systems and online surveys that are typically less reliable than live-dialer methodology.

A Dec. 4 WBRC-TV poll claimed to reach 3200 likely voters in one day using landlines and gave Moore a 7-point lead.

Fox’s poll reached both landlines and cell phones, potentially engaging younger voters who have shown a willingness to lean Jones. The combination of landlines, cell phones and live dialers could explain the disparity between recent polls.

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According to the Fox poll, which surveyed 1127 likely voters from Dec. 7–Dec. 10, 50 percent of likely voters plan to vote for Jones while 40 percent plan to vote for Moore. Jones’ lead is more than 3-times the margin of error of 3 percentage points but 10 percent remain undecided.

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Among Republicans, support for Moore has eroded to only 81 percent with 11 percent of Republican likely voters planning to vote for the Democrat. Moore, a longtime conservative jurist, has been plagued by several sexual assault allegations over the last month.

Fifty percent of independents surveyed said they will vote for Jones while only 21 percent say they will support Moore.

Another Fox News poll from a month ago gave Jones an 8-point lead, and a late November Washington Post poll with live pollsters gave Jones a 3-point edge.

In the final days of the campaign, Moore has all but disappeared from the campaign trail and the public eye — except for one television interview he gave to APR’s The Voice of Alabama Politics. While Moore avoided attention over the weekend, Jones crisscrossed the state, attending more five get-out-the-vote events on Saturday and Sunday. He is also on the campaign trail Monday.

Moore is expected to make an appearance with one of his top surrogates, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, Monday night in Midland City. They will be joined by Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert.

President Donald Trump, who was hesitant to get involved in the race after the allegations arose, recently offered a full-throated endorsement of Moore. The president went on to record a robocall in support of Moore.

 

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