Why Is Roy Moore Back In Front? Time And Trump Are Probably Helping

Why Is Roy Moore Back In Front? Time And Trump Are Probably Helping

Republican Roy Moore appears to have pulled back into a lead in Alabama’s special Senate election. Moore had lost ground in the polls after allegations of child molestation and sexual misconduct were leveled against him starting on Nov. 9. But three new polls out this week — from Change Research, Emerson College and JMC Analytics — have Moore leading Democrat Doug Jones by 5 to 6 percentage points.

Latest Alabama Senate polls show Moore ahead

Surveys taken after accusations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore were first reported by The Washington Post on Nov. 9

POLLSTER DAYS SINCE ACCUSATIONS DOUG JONES ROY MOORE JONES MARGIN
Opinion Savvy 0 46% 46% 0
Gravis Marketing 1 46 48 -2
Change Research 2 40 44 -4
Emerson College 2 40 49 -9
JMC Analytics 2 48 44 +4
Strategy Research 4 43 49 -6
Fox News 6 50 42 +8
Gravis Marketing 6 47 42 +5
Change Research 7 46 43 +3
Strategy Research 12 45 47 -2
Emerson College 18 47 53 -6
Change Research 18 44 49 -5
JMC Analytics 19 44 49 -5

Jones jumped out in front of Moore in three polls completed six or seven days after news of the allegations first broke, but he hasn’t led in a single survey since that point.

Why has Moore bounced back? It’s hard to know for sure, but there are a couple of plausible explanations.

First: time. As the 2016 campaign demonstrated, a scandal’s biggest effect on a race can be limited to the weeks following the revelations. Some scandal-hit candidates plummet in the polls, then recover a bit.

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