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Two women have come forward in recent weeks, alleging the Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers. Moore was winning in three separate polls as of Thursday. (Photo: @politico/Twitter)

Despite Multiple and Credible Sexual Abuse Allegations, Roy Moore Still Leading in Alabama Race

Denying accusations, Moore instead blamed "the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender" and the "socialists who want to change our way of life and put man above God" for the controversy that's erupted around his campaign this month

Julia Conley

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.

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.

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.


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