Did Roy Moore win the Senate race in Alabama?
While the votes are still being counted, exit polls and early results could point to a shocking upset in a race that was once seen as a foregone conclusion.
Alabama has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1990, but Doug Jones is looking to change that by capitalizing on the scandal enveloping Moore in the race. A number of women came forward to say that Moore pursued relationships with them when they were young teenagers and Moore was in his early 30s, charges that Moore vehemently denies. The controversy allowed Jones to surge in the polls and fall within the margin of error going into Tuesday’s voting.
Now, early results and exit polls for the U.S. Senate race in Alabama could point to more strong signs for Doug Jones. As CBS News noted, Alabama voters appear to have soured on Donald Trump after voting for him overwhelmingly last November. Exit polls found that Alabama voters were evenly split on Trump’s job performance, with 48 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving. That could be an ominous sign for Roy Moore, who has relied on Trump’s endorsement and posted a robocall that Trump recorded asking voters to support Moore.
But the Alabama exit polls show that the allegations against Roy Moore may not have that big an influence on voters. A total of 60 percent said they made up their mind on who to vote for before November, when the allegations became public. And voters were split on whether they believed the allegations — 86 percent of Moore voters believed they were false, and 89 percent of Jones voters believed they were true.
Those wondering if Roy Moore won the Senate race may not be able to glean the answer from exit polls — as exit polling also showed a number of weaknesses for Donald Trump early on Election Day 2016, even though he went on to win — but early voting results could show a strong sign for Doug Jones, the Washington Post noted.
Campaign leaders for the Democratic candidate said they had high turnouts in Montgomery and Jefferson counties, which are Democratic strongholds. Statewide officials had predicted that somewhere 19 percent of voters would turn out for the special election, and if turnout ends up being higher than pundits believe it could deliver a victory for Doug Jones and deny Roy Moore the Senate seat that once seemed a shoe-in.