Closings and delays

Democrat Doug Jones opens up an eight-point lead against Roy Moore amid multiple sexual abuse allegations

Roy Moore has appeared multiple times on a radio show hosted by a controversial pastor who preaches that the biblical punishment for homosexuality is death.

Democrat Doug Jones has opened up an eight-point lead in the US Senate race in Alabama amid multiple sexual abuse allegations against Republican Roy Moore, according to a new Fox News poll released Thursday.

Jones leads Moore by 50 to 42% among likely voters in the special election to fill the seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions when he became US attorney general, now less than a month away.

Most Republican voters, 78%, still say they plan to cast their ballots for Moore, but a substantial minority — 13% — say they are voting for Jones. A broad 91% of Democrats say they’re voting for Jones versus only 3% voting for Moore.

Similarly, Moore wins only 81% of Trump voters versus 91% of Clinton voters who say they are voting for Jones.

Women have made the difference: Jones has opened up a wide 58% to 41% lead among female likely voters. Meanwhile, 54% of women who are registered to vote had an unfavorable view of Moore, up from 39% in October. (Strongly unfavorable views among women also climbed 15 points over the last month.)

Moore, however, maintains majority support among white evangelicals (73%), whites without college degrees (64%), whites in general (56%) and men (53%).

Alabama likely voters are virtually evenly split on whether allegations of sexual abuse against Moore are true: 38% say they are, versus 37% who say they aren’t. One in five say they don’t know. A broad six in 10 Republicans, 62%, say they do not believe the allegations against Moore.

Notably, 7% of Moore backers say they believe the allegations and 19% say it’s either too soon or they don’t know. Three in four Moore voters (74%) dismiss the allegations.

A majority (54%) of likely voters — including 75% of Republican likely voters and 88% of Moore voters — say Moore should stay in the race.

Moore’s overall favorable rating has dropped seven points among registered voters since October, from 49% to 42%.

When asked about a hypothetical race in which sitting Republican Sen. Luther Strange, who lost to Moore in the primary election, runs a write-in campaign against Moore and Jones, only a third of Moore backers and a sixth of Jones backers say it’s likely they’d vote for Strange. And if Strange were on the ballot instead of Moore, Jones would still hold a lead in the race: He tops Strange by 10 points in a hypothetical matchup.

Nearly six in 10 likely voters (57%) say they disapprove of the way Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is handling his job. President Donald Trump is net positive: 52% approve and 47% disapprove.

This Fox News poll was conducted among 649 likely voters in Alabama on Nov. 13-15, 2017. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.