Moore Opens Up 49–44 Lead in Alabama; Just 9% of Trump Voters Believe Allegations Against Moore
Alabama Republican Roy Moore has reopened a 49–44 lead over Democrat Doug Jones in the race for U.S. Senate. In Change Research’s third poll since the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore first surfaced on November 9, we found that he has completely erased the 3-point lead Jones had opened up in mid-November. Moore’s lead is now just as large as it was just after the story broke.
What has changed? The largest difference is turnout: many Republicans who ten days ago said they might not vote, now say they plan to show up on Election Day and vote for Moore. In mid-November, 82% of those who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 said they would “definitely” vote on December 12; that number has climbed to 88%. Additionally, Moore has made some gains with his base: his 91–5 lead with them ten days ago has grown to a 93–4 edge. In mid-November, 10% of voters had planned to cast a write-in vote; that number has dropped to 7%.
Why is Moore doing better among all three groups of Republicans? Compared to ten days ago, fewer Republicans believe the allegations against Moore. While all voters believed the allegations by a 46–30 margin ten days ago, they now believe them by only 42–38. Among Trump voters, the split was 16–51 (believe-don’t believe) in the middle of the month, and it’s 9–63 now. However, Hillary Clinton voters’ belief of the allegations has remained constant: 91% believe them and 1% disbelieve them.
Donald Trump also expressed his support for Moore this week, and it may have provided the Republican with a small bump. The vast majority of voters said it had no impact on their plans. However, about 3.5% of Trump’s voters, or just under 2% of the entire electorate, said that Trump’s support pushed them closer to supporting Moore.
AL.com’s strong support for Jones may have provided a modest bump for him: 3% of voters said that they now plan to vote for him as a result of the editorial.
While voters were previously evenly split on whether Moore should be expelled if elected to the Senate, 50% now believe he should not be expelled, while 38% think he should. Likewise, the number who agree with Senator Richard Shelby’s suggestion that Moore should drop out of the race has dropped from 36% to 33%.
As was true in our previous polling, those who think the allegations are false say that very little could make them change their minds. 2% said they might believe them if more accusers come out; 1% would believe them if the President says that he does. 97% say the accusations are garbage, and nothing would make them believe they are true.
Finally, one note for all the stat geeks out there: in our last poll, 27% of our sample said they had voted for Roy Moore in the primary, and in this poll, 32% said they’d voted for Moore. The discrepancy is the result of three possible differences, all of which may be at play: Moore primary voters are more likely to say they’ll vote now than ten days ago, Republicans are more likely to say they voted for Moore now than they were regardless of how they actually did, and as in any survey there can be small effects from randomness.
Polling was conducted November 26–27, using Change Research’s patent pending Bias Correct technology. The sample consisted of 1,868 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 2.3% (We don’t love that statistic; here is a good overview of the shortcomings of traditional MOE calculations).
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