While media personalities including Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and Harvey Weinstein were all fired in recent weeks after allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, new polls reveal that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore has been undeterred in the race to fill Alabama's vacant seat despite multiple accounts of his sexual abuse of teenagers and other allegations of sexual misconduct—and was in fact ahead in three different polls as of Thursday.
In surveys taken by Emerson College, JMC Analytics, and WRBC-TV in Birmingham, Alabama, between November 14 and 28, Moore was found to be up by two to six points against his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.
As Ben Mathis-Lilley sarcastically put it at Slate, "Moore Surging in Polls Because Apparently Being Credibly Accused of Sex Crimes Only Matters for Like a Week."
Moore experienced a temporary dip in polls after an Alabama woman named Leigh Corfman came forward with allegations, corroborated by several sources who spoke to the Washington Post, that Moore molested her when she was 14 and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.
The recent polls were taken just after a second woman, Beverly Young Nelson, shared an account of Moore locking her in a car and sexually assaulting her when she was 16.
Reports also surfaced that Moore was banned from a shopping mall in Gadsden, Alabama in the 1980s due to his proclivity for "badgering teenage girls." A retired police officer from Gadsden told reporters that she was instructed to watch Moore at high school sports games and "make sure that he wouldn’t hang around the cheerleaders."
Moore has denied the allegations, claiming on Wednesday in a speech he gave at a Baptist church that "liberals"—including "the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender who want to change our culture" and the "socialists who want to change our way of life and put man above God"—are behind the women's accusations in an attempt to defeat him.
Roy Moore names quite explicitly the “THEY” behind the “malicious” attacks against him. (At a church in Theodore, AL) pic.twitter.com/mccnDyfcK7— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) November 30, 2017
While Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have said they believe the accounts of Moore's sexual abuse, the Trump administration has pledged its support for the Republican candidate.
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In a move that's being investigated as a possible violation of the Hatch Act, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News last week that Alabama voters should support Moore over Jones because "we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through."
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) reports that the Republican tax plan would raise taxes on 309,000 families in Alabama and eliminate health coverage for 183,000 people in the state. "Forty-eight percent of the federal tax cuts would go to the richest five percent of residents," according to ITEP.
On social media, critics expressed shock at Roy Moore's solid chance at winning against Jones, who by contrast prosecuted two Ku Klux Klan members who bombed a church in Birmingham in 1963, killing four young girls.
With everything going on please don’t forget that Roy Moore has 6 women who said he sexually assaulted them underage and 30 people collaborated the story— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) November 29, 2017
And he is running for the Alabama Senate Dec 12th
And he is up in the fucking polls
Against a man who locked up KKK Members
How is it possible that Roy Moore is even close in the polls, much less leading? Have 47% of Alabama permanently lost their minds? What does Moore need to do to lose voter confidence? Shoot a 'Bama running back?— So-called Dave (@DavidWetherell) November 25, 2017
Hey America, remember what happened after Trump and the Access Hollywood tape? He won. In unrelated news: "Three new polls out this week ... have [Roy] Moore leading Democrat Doug Jones by 5 to 6 percentage points." https://t.co/ONcqM3uqvE— Clare Malone (@ClareMalone) November 29, 2017