The Alabama special election is two weeks away, and three recent polls now show Republican candidate Roy Moore is likely to win.
Jones had opened up as much as an 8-point lead in one mid-November poll taken in the days and weeks after the first women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Moore. Now that gap has closed.
A JMC Analytics Poll released Wednesday that surveyed 650 registered Alabama voters Monday and Tuesday had Moore with a 5-point lead over Jones, 48 to 43 percent. About 4 percent of voters planned to write in a candidate, and about 5 percent remained undecided. Moore has made up ground: In another JMC Analytics Poll taken right after the Washington Post reported that Moore sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s, Jones was up 4 points, with 46 percent of voters planning to vote for Jones versus 42 percent for Moore.
That’s in line with two other recent polls. Change Research, in an online survey conducted Sunday and Monday found that Moore led Jones by 5 points, 47 percent to 42 percent among registered voters. About 7 percent of voters were undecided, and just shy of 4 percent said they would opt for a write-in candidate. The same firm conducted a November 15-16 poll that put Jones up by 3 points. Moore has since closed that lead, and then some.
And in an Emerson College poll released Tuesday, likely Alabama voters supported Moore 53 percent to 47 percent. The previous Emerson College poll — taken the weekend right after the first Moore revelations — had Moore up 10 points. In a podcast about the poll, Spencer Kimball of Emerson College said the results put Jones within the margin of error and within “striking distance.” The good news for Jones, Kimball said, is that independents are supporting him by a 2-to-1 margin. But undecided voters are still leaning toward Moore, about 57 to 44 percent.
Trump supported Moore, and his voters do too
Several factors might be sending voters back to Moore. The flurry of allegations that followed the Washington Post story, including a woman who said Moore groped her when she was 14 and he was 32 — have died down, and no new allegations have emerged since around November 15.
Moore also laid low for a little more than a week; until Monday night, the candidate hadn’t hosted a public event in 11 days.
President Donald Trump also broke his silence on the Moore situation before Thanksgiving, saying Moore “totally denied” the allegations. He has continued to bash the Democrat in the race, firing off on Twitter that Jones “would be a disaster.”
The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY. Jones would be a disaster!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 26, 2017
The Change Research poll found that about 3.5 percent of Trump voters said the president’s backing inched them closer to voting for Moore.
Potential turnout among Trump voters may be behind some of the polling swings toward Moore. In the mid-November poll that had Jones up by 3 points, 82 percent of Trump voters surveyed said they’d “definitely” vote. That number is now up to 88 percent.
The Change Research poll also found that among Trump voters, only 9 percent believe the allegations against Moore (63 percent do not). Overall, 42 percent of voters believe the allegations, while 38 percent do not. That’s down from the mid-November poll, which found 46 percent of voters believed the accusations.