Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones has a slight lead over embattled Republican nominee Judge Roy Moore in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations, according to a poll from JMC Enterprises.
The poll is the first to show a Democrat leading in Alabama’s special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat.
The poll shows 46 percent of likely voters would support Jones if the election were held tomorrow, with only 42 percent favoring Moore and 9 percent undecided. In another question, however, 47 percent of respondents answered that they believed Moore is qualified to be a U.S. Senator.
Moore has faced criticisms from fellow Republicans around the country after The Washington Post reported Thursday that he had dated several teenage girls when he was in his 30s. Moore allegedly took the girls on dates and in one instance drove a 14 year old to his home and undressed her to her underwear, and guided her hand over his own underwear.
Moore has denied the allegations and questioned the timing of the report. “I believe they’re politically motivated,” Moore said of the allegations in a Friday interview with Sean Hannity. “I believe they were brought on to stop a very successful campaign. And that’s what they’re doing.”
When asked if the recent allegations of sexual misconduct affected their decision, 38 percent of respondents to the JMC survey said they were less likely to support Moore and 33 percent said the newly reported allegations made no difference. Twenty-nine percent said they were more likely to support Moore after the allegations were reported.
The majority of Senate Republicans have called on Moore to drop out of the race if the allegations are true, and some GOP leaders have pulled their endorsements. The National Republican Senatorial Committee recently cut Moore’s campaign off from its national funds by dropping out of a fundraising agreement with the Moore campaign. Some senators are encouraging interim Alabama Sen. Luther Strange, who Moore beat in the primary earlier this year, to run a write-in campaign. Alabama’s special election will be held Dec. 12.
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