Roy Moore, the Republican candidate running for Jeff Sessions’ old senate seat in a December special election, has seen his standing in the polls plunge following allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in 1979, when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney in Etowah County, Ala.
Moore, who has denied the allegations, claiming they are part of a liberal media campaign to discredit him, has resisted calls by powerful Senate Republicans to “step aside” and let a write-in candidate take his place (many have suggested Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill Sessions’ seat by former Gov. Robert Bentley who resigned following a sex scandal earlier this year. Strange was defeated in the Republican primary by Moore despite receiving endorsements from President Donald Trump and the GOP Congressional leadership). Some Republicans are even pressuring Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to delay the Dec. 12 ballot as a means to buy time to force Moore to drop out, the New York Times reported.
But if the latest polls are accurate, pressure on Moore to step aside will likely intensify as Moore’s Democratic opponent, former US attorney Doug Jones has dramatically narrowed the gap, and has even taken the lead, according to some polls. One poll by JMC Analytics released Sunday – the first to cover the period since the scandal broke late last week – found Jones leading Moore 46% to 42%, with 9% undecided and 2% supporting an independent candidate.
In the RealClearPolitics’s average of polls, Moore was leading by 6 points prior to the Post report. A Friday poll, the first following the scandal, found Moore and Jones tied.
But perhaps the most unexpected finding from the JMC poll was that, while 38% of voters said they were less likely to support Moore following the allegations, a surprisingly large 29% of respondents said they were more likely to support him.
President Donald Trump has said he expects Moore to “do the right thing” and step aside if the allegations are true, but the White House has also cautioned against a rush to judgment. Moore’s name will remain on the ballot regardless of whether he drops out, meaning that a write-in would be the only option to replace Moore. Alabama law does not allow candidates to remove their name from the ballot this soon before an election, according to the Hill.
“I have not been guilty of sexual misconduct …read more