The embattled Roy Moore, the Republican candidate the represent Alabama in the U.S. Seante, is currently tied with his Democrat opponent Doug Jones. According to the most recent Opinion-Savvy/Decision Desk HQ poll, the two are tied. Moore had led Jones by 5.7 percent in a previous survey by the same organization, while other polls had the former Alabama Supreme Court justice up by double-digits. The poll was conducted on Thursday via landline automated calls to 515 likely voters in Alabama. It cited a margin of error 4.3 percent ±.
The poll was released after the Washington Post released a report on Thursday in which four women allege that Moore made sexual advances on them when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers. President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and other Republicans have called on Moore to step out of the race should the allegations prove to be true. Trump had not endorsed Moore in advance of the Republican primary last month. Voters go to the polls to select their new senator on December 12.
At Real Clear Politics, the average of the polls it cited showed that Moore was ahead by 4.7 percent. Even though the Opinion-Savvy/Decision Desk poll shows faltering support for Moore, Alabama GOP officials remain steadfast. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill expressed doubts about the timing of the accusations: "It's odd to me that this information has just been introduced. In all the campaigns Judge Moore has ever run before ― and he has run a lot of them, probably a dozen campaigns ― it's very, very odd to me this information has just been introduced."
Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler said, "Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus. There's just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual."
Bibb County GOP Chair Jerry Pow said, "I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn't want to vote for [Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones]. I'm not saying I support what he did."
On Friday, former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney called on Moore to step aside. Romney was referring to allegations by Leigh Corfman that Moore pursued a sexual relationship with her when she was 14 years old. “Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside,” Romney tweeted. Romney is rumored to be a possible candidate to run for Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat, should the Utah senator decide to retire ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.