One More Day: Doug Jones Opens 10 Point Lead Over Roy Moore

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Don’t believe it. Go vote on Tuesday anyway.


U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones rides with organized labor in the Veterans Day Parade in Mobile, Alabama, Friday Nov. 10, 2017: Photo by Glynn Wilson

By Glynn Wilson –

MOBILE, Ala. — A new public opinion survey has Birmingham attorney Doug Jones opening up a 10 point lead over former judge Roy Moore with one day to go before the vote in the special U.S. Senate election on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

“Greater party loyalty plus higher interest in the election among Democrats combined with more enthusiasm among Jones supporters gives him the advantage in the race to fill the U.S. senate seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” Fox News reports.

The survey of Alabama voters was conducted Thursday through Sunday using traditional polling techniques, including a list-based probability sampling with both landline phones and cellphones. It is a joint effort of a Democrat firm, Anderson Robbins Research, and a Republican firm, Shaw and Company Research.

According to the results, Jones has opened a 10 point lead over Moore, who has disappeared from the campaign trail again after his appearance in Fairhope last week.

When reached for comment, Doug Jones urged voters not to pay too much attention to the polls and to keep focused on showing up to vote Tuesday.

“We are not paying attention to the polls any more than coach Saban and Malzahn pay attention to football polls,” Jones said. “We are running as if we are way behind.”

The poll corresponds to a recent Washington Post poll that had Jones hitting the 50 percent support mark. But according this latest poll, Moore has dropped to 40 percent with only 8 percent of voters now saying they are undecided and only 2 percent supporting another candidate with a write in vote.

“This race’s uniqueness is significant,” the researchers say in their analysis of the numbers. “It is impossible to know who will show up to vote in a special election to fill a seat in the middle of a term in an off-year. And it’s December, a time when people expect to be going to the shopping mall, not the voting booth.”

On top of that, accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore only emerged on November 9, with just over a month to go before the vote.

“Since then, he has repeatedly denied the allegations,” they say. “After the GOP initially pulled its support, the party ultimately backed Moore,” with President Trump himself campaigning for Moore in Pensacola.

Yet Alabama’s senior senator, Republican Richard Shelby of Tuscaloosa, announced again Sunday that he didn’t vote for Moore and instead cast a write-in vote and asked all Alabamians to reject the controversial Moore for the sake of Alabama’s business image.

“The state of Alabama deserves better,” Shelby told CNN’s State of the Union. “I couldn’t vote for Roy Moore. I think the women are believable. I have no reason not to believe them. I didn’t vote for Roy Moore. I wouldn’t vote for Roy Moore. I think the Republican party can do better.”

Alabama voters believe the allegations against Moore by a margin of 39-33 percent. Only 27 percent don’t believe the charges or have no opinion. Among Republicans, only 13 percent believe the accusations are true.

This poll is the first to show Jones’s leading by a margin that is outside the the 3-5 percentage-point margin of sampling error.

Among just the 46 percent of Alabama voters who are “extremely” interested in the race, the Democrat’s lead widens to 53-40 percent.

Jones’s lead comes mostly from nonwhites, younger voters and women. He’s the choice of nonwhites by 76 points (83-7 percent), by 31 points among voters under age 45 (59-28), and by 20 among women (54-34). That jumps to 46 points among women under age 45 (67-21 percent).

More Democrats (50 percent) than Republicans (45 percent) are “extremely” interested in the election. And more Democrats plan to vote for Jones (90 percent) than Republicans plan to vote for Moore (81 percent).

A small subgroup of independents breaks for Jones by 29 points.

Moore is preferred among whites by 20 points (55-35 percent) and whites without a college degree by 33 points (61-28 percent).

Support for Moore among white evangelical Christians is down 8 points since last month: It was 73 percent in November and stands at 65 percent now.

And his advantage among men has dropped from 12 points last month to just 3 points now. In addition, Republican men (41 percent) are less likely than GOP women (50 percent) or Democratic men (53 percent) to be “extremely” interested in the race.

“Moore might prevail if only the people who typically vote in Alabama elections turn out Tuesday, which is often what happens in special elections,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Republican counterpart Daron Shaw.

“But this appears to be a special, special election with blacks and young voters animated by a caustic Republican candidate and the chance of winning a statewide election with national implications, and at the same time some Republicans and many moderates are turned off by Moore, too.”

A subtle but potentially noteworthy finding is Alabama voters who were interviewed on cellphones are +30 for Jones, while the race is roughly even among all others. The fact that traditional, high-quality probability samples, like the Fox News Poll, include both landline and cellphone numbers may be why these polls show Jones doing relatively well compared to automated or blended polls.

“It’s clear Jones is positioned to pull off the upset because his supporters are unified and energized, and Moore’s are conflicted and diffident,” says Shaw.

“But Jones is depending on many voters who show up only occasionally to cast their ballots. If their rate of follow-through drops from what we expect, the race could turn. The other factor is the race seems volatile, with a new twist or story every day, and because of this it is difficult to know what Republicans will ultimately do.”

The poll does indeed show enthusiasm is up among Jones supporters and held steady among Moore backers.

Fifty-seven percent of those planning to vote for Moore say they “strongly” support him, which is mostly unchanged from 58 percent in November.

Among Jones supporters, 70 percent “strongly” back him, up from 62 percent.

The portion of Moore supporters who are backing him because they dislike Jones is up 4 points since last month and stands at 13 percent.

Meanwhile, 29 percent of Moore’s supporters say they have reservations about their candidate, while just 13 percent of Jones’s supporters feel that way.

By a 15-point margin, strong moral character is more important to Alabama voters than how the candidate will vote in the Senate (48-33 percent).

For those who say moral character is more important, Jones tops Moore by 60-30 percent. Moore is preferred among those prioritizing how the candidate will vote in the senate by a narrower 54-38 percent.

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The poll was conducted December 7-10, 2017, by telephone (landline and cellphone) with live interviewers among a sample of 1,127 voters selected from a statewide voter file in Alabama. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for the full sample of likely voters. For the sample of 1,408 registered voters it is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.


Former judge Roy Moore speaks at Oak Hollow Farm in Fairhope with his wife Kayla beside the stage with one week to go in U.S Senate race in Alabma, Dec. 5, 2017: Photo by Glynn Wilson

© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

  1 comment for “One More Day: Doug Jones Opens 10 Point Lead Over Roy Moore

  1. James Brown
    December 15, 2017 at 1:46 am

    When you trap a rat you never know what direction he will go in next. I read Trump called Putain yesterday. You never know what he would do in the name of protecting the country

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