In a message delivered via Twitter on the morning of December 4, President Trump urged Alabama voters to elect former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore to the Senate in the December 12 special election.
“Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama,” the president tweeted.
“We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!,” Trump added.
Trump was referring to Moore’s Democratic opponent, former U.S. attorney Doug Jones, whom he called a puppet of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Moore’s candidacy became embroiled in controversy after several women accused him of sexual misconduct decades ago, but Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying they are politically motivated. A November 22 NBC News report said that Moore is considering legal action against one or more of the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. During a November 21 interview with conservative radio talk-show host Scott Beason on Alabama Cable Network, Moore emphatically stated: “I don't know them. I’ve never spoken to them, and certainly I didn’t do anything’ to them.”
Most Alabama Republicans apparently believe Moore, according to a new CBS News poll released on December 3 that found 71 percent of Alabama Republicans say the allegations against Roy Moore are false. Furthermore, most of those who do not believe the allegations believe that Democrats and the media are behind those allegations.
The poll found 92 percent of Republicans who don’t believe the allegations against Moore say the Democrats are behind the charges, and 88 percent say that newspapers and the media are behind them.
A December 4 report in The Hill noted that Trump had recently hedged on publicly backing Moore, and declined to offer him an explicit endorsement. However, the president made a case that Republicans cannot afford to lose the Senate seat in Alabama.
Because of the controversial unproven allegations, Moore failed to receive fundraising support from the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who as recently as November 13 told reporters that he believes the women who had accused Moore of misconduct and said, “I think he should step aside,” has now apparently softened his position.
McConnell said on December 3, speaking on ABC’s This Week that the people of Alabama will decide whether Moore is elected. “I’m going to let the people of Alabama make the call,” McConnell said.
The Hill report observed:
Alabama remains a deeply conservative state: most registered voters believe that abortion should be illegal (58 percent) and that same-sex marriage should not be legal (56 percent). Moore draws nearly nine in 10 voters who believe abortion should be illegal. Only 19 percent of registered voters call themselves liberal.
An article in The New American on November 29 reported that several polls released that week show that Moore has regained the lead over Jones in the battle for the Alabama Senate seat left vacant by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (The seat is now held by Luther Strange, who was appointed by former Governor Robert Bentley, but subsequently lost the primary race to Moore.) The report noted that one poll from Emerson Polling showed that Moore now leads Jones 53-47 percent, while another from JMC Analytics showed that Moore has recovered from being four points down against Jones earlier in November to five points ahead as of November 27. That’s a very significant nine-point swing in favor of Moore, according to JMC.
A third poll from Change Research also showed an impressive rebound for Moore: Just two weeks prior to the article, Jones had led Moore by three points but subsequently fell behind Moore 49-44, a drop of eight points.
The author of that New American report, Bob Adelmann, addressed several factors that contributed to the rise in Moore’s numbers. According to Change Research, many Republicans who didn’t intend to vote at all are coming out in favor of Moore as a result of disbelieving the charges of sexual misconduct being levied against him. The polling organization reported that, according to its surveys, those who doubt the credibility of the charges against Moore are quite outspoken about those doubts, with “97 percent say[ing] the accusations are garbage, and nothing could make them believe they are true.”
The report considered other factors responsible for the shifts in the polls in Moore’s favor. According to Spencer Kimball, a pollster for Emerson, “undecideds” are becoming “decideds,” and seven percent of those are now leaning toward Moore. Pro-life groups and evangelicals remain steadfast in their support for Moore over Jones, according to Kimball.