With only two weeks to go before the special election for Alabama’s Senate seat—a vacancy created after Jeff Sessions was appointed Attorney General--a growing number of white evangelicals are showing support for Republican Roy Moore, despite the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct levied against him.
According to a Washington Post-Schar poll, Moore is ahead in a neck-and-neck race against Democratic rival Doug Jones. Votes who were polled, when asked “if the election were being held today,” 50 percent of likely voters would choose Jones, over 47 percent who would choose Moore.
But Jones has the backing of only about 33 percent of white voters in the state. This is compared to the 63 percent of those voters who support Moore. Among white evangelical Protestants, 78 percent support Moore. Only 19 percent support Jones.
The numbers may seem surprising to some, given the controversy surrounding the sexual misconduct allegations levied against Moore. Last month, a woman accused Moore of initiation sexual encounters with her when she was 14. Several other women since then have made similar accusations. Moore has denied them.
The poll suggests that the allegations “hang heavily” over a race that is traditionally deeply conservative. In that poll, 53 percent of voters said that Jones has higher standards of personal conduct than Moore.
Moore has said that his campaign is being waged as a ‘spiritual battle’ with heavy religious overtones, but only about a third of voters believe that Moore’s standard of morality is higher than his opponent’s.
The poll further illustrates the sentiment of voters who believe or disbelieve whether the accusations against Moore are true. Thirty-five percent of voters think Moore did make unwanted advances toward teenage girls, while 37 percent said they were unsure or had no opinion.
Twenty-eight percent believed that Moore did not make any alleged advances. Among white evangelicals, only 16 percent believed Moore made unwanted advances. Forty—four percent said he did not; 39 percent were unsure.
Some of the allegations say that the sexual misconduct happened when Moore was in his early 30s, and the women whom he allegedly assaulted were younger than 18. Several GOP senators, as well as some Christian leaders, have called on Moore to drop out.
In recent news, the NBC chairman spoke out about the sexual harassment epidemic plaguing America. What do you think of this? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.