Last Updated Dec 12, 2017 5:46 PM EST
By Fred Backus and Jennifer De Pinto
Most voters casting ballots in Alabama’s special election for U.S. Senate say they decided on their candidate some time ago, according to early exit polling. Six in 10 made up their minds before November – largely prior to when allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Republican candidate Roy Moore. Still, nearly four in 10 say they made their decision in November or after that, including about one in five who decided this month.
Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones.
Alabama voters divide on the validity of the allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against Moore. Just under half think they are true, while more than four in 10 think they are false. Most Jones voters believe the allegations, while most of Moore’s supporters do not.
For roughly 40 percent of the voters, these allegations were an important factor in their vote Tuesday. More than six in 10 Jones supporters say they were an important factor, but about four out of five Moore backers they were not important.
President Trump – who is publicly– seems to be a more important factor to Moore’s voters than those who are voting for Doug Jones. While nearly six in 10 Moore voters say one reason for their choice is to express support for Mr. Trump, most of Jones’ supporters say the president was not a factor in their decision — either way.
Slightly more Alabama voters do prefer the U.S. Senate be controlled by the Republican party than by the Democratic party.
Strength of support
Early exit polling shows Jones voters are more strongly behind their candidate than Moore voters. Eight in 10 Jones voters say they strongly favor him, compared to just over half of Moore backers who say that about him. About a third of Moore supporters say they like him, but have reservations. Over one in 10 Moore voters say they were partly motivated by their dislike of Jones.
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