One one hand, accused pedophile and GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is suddenly starting to fall behind in the polls to Democrat Doug Jones for next month's special election.
Democrat Doug Jones is leading Republican Roy Moore in Alabama's Senate race in the wake of explosive accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore, according to a new poll released Sunday.
Forty-six percent of likely voters polled said they would vote for Jones, while 42 percent said they would vote for Moore, according to the Louisiana-based JMC Analytics and Polling.
The survey was conducted on Nov. 9 and Nov. 11, after The Washington Post reported that a woman said Moore had initiated a sexual encounter with her in 1979, when she was 14 years old and he was 32.
In RealClearPolitics's average of polls, Moore was leading by 6 points prior to the Post report. A Friday poll, the first following the scandal, found Moore and Jones tied.
On the other hand, enthusiasm for the special election among Moore supporters is on the rise.
On Friday, Moore called the allegations "false, false, [and] misleading" and at a Veterans' Day event on Saturday, the Republican candidate said, "Everybody on this room, every person watching on these cameras, should ask theirselves, 'Isn't it strange that after 40 years of constant investigation people have waited until four weeks prior to the general election to bring their complaints?'"
Moore finds his defenders back home while the climate is less hospitable in Washington, where GOP senators, as well as the White House, have called on the conservative firebrand to drop out of the race if the report is true.
Of more than 15 Republican voters in Alabama interviewed by NBC News, none said their support for Moore would change.
Most said they didn't believe the allegations and some said even if they are true, that wouldn't sway their vote for him next month because they think Moore is a good man, should be forgiven and they could never bring themselves to vote for a Democrat anyway. Several attacked the media.
On the gripping hand, as Jerry Pournelle used to write, Steve Bannon's odious crew is now doing everything they can to victimize the women who came forward to denounce Moore a second time. Jon Swan at Politico 2.0:
Steve Bannon has sent two of Breitbart News' top reporters, Matt Boyle and Aaron Klein, to Alabama. Their mission: to discredit the Washington Post's reporting on Roy Moore's alleged sexual misconduct with teenagers.
Bottom line: This story is about to get even uglier, if that's imaginable. I expect more counter-attacks will play out in Breitbart News and other outlets over the coming days.
A story that popped today — splashed over the Breitbart homepage — contains what the website claims is a major hole in the account of Leigh Corfman, who says Alabama Senate candidate, Moore, made sexual advances on her when she was 14 years old.
Klein reports from Birmingham, Alabama: "Speaking by phone to Breitbart News on Saturday, Corfman's mother, Nancy Wells, 71, says that her daughter did not have a phone in her bedroom during the period that Moore is reported to have allegedly called Corfman – purportedly on Corfman's bedroom phone – to arrange at least one encounter."
Why this matters: It's quite a head-scratcher as to why Breitbart thinks this bedroom phone detail matters. As Corfman's mother told Breitbart "the phone in the house could get through to her easily." Wells stands by her daughter's allegations. But the fact Breitbart is running stories like this shows the extremes to which it may go to discredit Moore's accusers.
Another hard truth: Many Alabama voters hold the mainstream media in such low regard that they've dismissed the Washington Post's reporting entirely.
I still remained convinced that Bannon will be able to rally enough anger and hatred to put Moore in office. Moore may not win by double digits, but he'll win. It doesn't matter what you and I think, it matter what Alabama voters think. "All politics is local" is hoary old saw for a good reason, and Alabama Republicans will elect Moore just to piss off the rest of the country.