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POLL: Doug Jones scrapes ahead of Roy Moore in Alabama's contentious Senate race

Scott Olson/Getty ImagesRoy Moore.
  • Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones are neck and neck in Alabama ahead of the state’s special election on December 12.

  • A poll this week found that 50% of likely voters support Jones, a former federal prosecutor, and 47% support Moore, a former judge who is facing multiple sexual misconduct allegations.

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones are neck and neck in Alabama ahead of the state’s special election on December 12.

According to a new Washington Post – Schar School poll, 50% of likely voters support Jones and 47% support Moore in their race to fill a Senate seat most recently vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Moore, a controversial former state supreme court justice, was the favourite to win in the deeply conservative state until he was hit with a string of sexual misconduct allegations last month.

More than half of those surveyed say that Jones, a former federal prosecutor, has higher standards of personal moral conduct than Moore, who is facing multiple allegations that he made inappropriate sexual advances toward teenage girls while he was in his 30s.

About a third of respondents say Moore, an evangelical who has described the race as a “spiritual battle,” has higher moral standards.

The contest is particularly significant because if Jones wins, Republicans will maintain just a one-vote majority in Congress’ upper chamber.

Just 35% of likely voters say they believe that Moore made unwanted romantic or sexual advances on teenage girls, while 28% say they don’t believe the allegations. The largest group – 37% – say they were unsure or have no opinion.

The poll showed deep gender and partisan divides among likely voters. While 41% of women believe Moore made unwanted advances on girls, just 28% of men believe the same. Jones is leading among female voters by 18 points, while Moore leads among men by 15 points.

Among Republican-leaning likely voters, fewer than one in six say they believe Moore made unwanted advances.

The survey, which indicates that Moore has regained some support after falling eight points behind Jones in a mid-November Fox News poll, illustrates a conservative electorate torn between their doubts about Moore and their desire to send a Republican to Washington.

The poll surveyed 749 likely voters between Monday and Thursday and has a 4.5-point margin of error.

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