Moore Holds Six-Point Lead On Election Eve
On the eve of the Senate election in Alabama, Republican Roy Moore leads 51–45 over Democrat Doug Jones. Jones has gained a single point since December 8, when a Change Research poll released showed Moore up 51–44.
Since Change Research’s poll from Friday, Dec. 8, there has been a small drop in Moore voters’ stated likelihood of voting: while 96% of Moore voters polled last week said they would “definitely” vote, that number dropped to 94% in interviews conducted over the weekend. But that shift was counteracted by Moore’s large advantage among late deciders. Of the 6% who made up their mind in the last week, Moore leads 68–24. This is similar to the 39-point margin among late deciders Change Research reported last week.
Moore’s lead has remained fairly steady over the final weeks of the race, after Jones briefly took the lead in mid-November following the allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore. Change Research has conducted five polls since the allegations surfaced on November 9; in the first and the final three, Moore led by between 4 and 7 points. In the poll conducted November 15–16, Jones led by 3.
Nearly All Jones Voters Believe Allegations; Nearly All Moore Voters Disbelieve Them
As Alabamians head to the polls, they are evenly divided on whether to believe the sexual misconduct accusations dominating news coverage of the race over the last month: 41% of voters believe the allegations, and 41% do not believe them. Voters’ feelings on the matter correlate strongly with their preferred candidate: just 2% of Moore voters believe the accusations are true, and 2% of Jones supporters think they are false. During the last month, the percentage of voters who believe the allegations are true has remained mostly steady, but the percentage shifting from unsure to thinking they are false has steadily increased.
There is also a correlation between voters’ chosen candidate and their feelings about the broader question of whether it is ethical for men in their 30s to date teenage girls. Among Moore voters, 37% say this behavior is sometimes or always acceptable, while only 4% of Jones voters say the same. 54% of Moore supporters who think the allegations are false said they would definitely or probably still vote for him if he announced that they were in fact true.
If Moore is elected to the Senate on Tuesday, a plurality of Alabamians, 42%, say they will be embarrassed. Another 32% will be proud, and the remainder will be neither.
However, Moore voters will be happy to have someone who shares their political views. When asked to compare the importance of policy stances with character/integrity, Moore voters are twice as likely to cite policy stances (28% — 14%). By contrast, Jones voters are five times as likely to cite character and integrity (30% — 6%). 58% of Moore supporters, and 64% of Jones supporters, say that character and policy stances are equally important.
Moore Support for Tax Overhaul?
On the first major legislation Moore would face in the Senate if elected — the tax overhaul — his supporters are somewhat lukewarm: only 22% strongly approve of the tax bill that recently passed the Senate, and another 22% don’t know or have no opinion. Among Jones voters, 60% strongly disapprove of the bill.
About the Poll
Polling was conducted December 9–11 using Change Research’s patent pending Bias Correct technology. The sample consisted of 1,556 registered Alabama voters (self-reported). Post stratification was done on age, gender, ethnicity, education, and self-reported 2016 Presidential vote, with additional weighting based on predicted likelihood of voting in this election. Margin of error as traditionally calculated is 2% (We don’t love that statistic and believe it is not the way to think about polling error.)
For people who made their Moore/Jones voting decision in the last month, we asked what led to their decision. Below are some of their comments.
“Roy upholding Racism, believing America was at its best when my ancestors were slaves, the sick sexual accusations that others in congress thinks he did, his history of upholding his own personal beliefs instead of the law..I can go on and on.”
African American woman, age 35–44, in the Montgomery area, voting for Jones
“Endorsement by President Trump.”
Woman, age 55–64, in the Mt. Vernon area, who is unsure if the allegations are true, but says she would be embarrassed if Moore were her Senator, voting for Moore
“He’s for America not the establishment. Moore is a conservative Christian and not a globalist. He’s made mistakes but all of us have. These allegations haven’t been proven and probably never will. MAGA!”
Male, age 18–24, in the Anniston area, voting for Moore
“I will not vote for a Democrat because I don’t agree with the majority of their policies. I will not vote for Roy Moore because as a Christian he broke his oath of office while under a federal judgeship. However I do not believe that the allegations against Judge Moore are true. It is my belief that they are nothing more than a propaganda ploy by the federal Democratic Party to sway the outcome of the election. I believe they are nothing more than pure allegations until they can be proven.”
Male, age 25–34, in the Kinston area, who plans to write in Lee Busby
“There is no proof that Roy Moore is a pedophile, but even *if* he is, I’d rather have a pedophile in the Senate than a murderer (Doug Jones), he is for taking to right to live away from humans beings, thousands defenseless humans will lose their right to live if he is elected. Plus Roy Moore holds more of my conservative values.”
Male, age 18–24, in Shelby County, voting for Moore
“having relationships of any nature with young women, and lying about it. too many inconsistencies. and now taking money from his personal charity fund?? I was raised and WANT to be a Republican, but between this and Trump, I’m dumbfounded these are the politicians chosen and supported by so very religious christian organizations. being from Alabama is just embarassing right now. And I love my state..”
Male, age 35–44, in Mobile County, who will cast a write-in vote for Roy Wood Jr.
“It’s so obviously a hit job, letting Jones get away with it would just encourage people to do it more.”
Female, age 35–44, in Jefferson County, who voted for Hillary Clinton and plans to vote for Moore
“Roy Moore has been removed from office twice due to his thinking he is above the law. He should not represent the people.”
Female, age 45–54, in Marshall County, who voted for Donald Trump and plans to vote for Jones