Live

Watch CBSN Live

Roy Moore leads in Alabama Senate poll

Roy Moore, the Republican iconoclast accused of sexual misconduct, is leading among Republican voters in a new poll on the upcoming Alabama Senate race. Moore narrowly lost a special election to fill former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' seat amid allegations from several women that he had touched or kissed them inappropriately when they were teenagers, and he was an adult.

A poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy published Tuesday found that 27 percent of Republicans polled would support Roy Moore's candidacy in the 2020 election. Reps. Mo Brooks, Bradley Byrne and Gary Palmer trail behind Moore with support in the teens, while Del Marsh and Tim James were under ten percent. Moore's support was highest among women, 31 percent of whom said they would support Moore.

It is not entirely surprising that Moore leads the field, since he has the highest name recognition among GOP voters in the state, according to CBS News elections and surveys' Jennifer De Pinto.

Democrat Doug Jones was elected to finish Sessions' term when he became attorney general, but is up for re-election in 2020. Jones, who received 49.9 percent of vote in 2017, is one of Senate Democrats' most vulnerable senators in the upcoming election. Jones was elected in large part due to significant turnout among black voters, and particularly black women.

The poll found that 45 percent of Alabama voters believe Jones is doing a good job in the Senate, while 44 percent disapprove of his performance. Fifty percent of voters said that they would vote to replace him, as opposed to 40 percent who said they would vote to re-elect him. Alabama is a predominantly Republican state.

Moore has significant support in particular among white voters, who supported Moore by 68 percent in 2017, who believe that Moore was subject to a smear campaign. A CBS News poll from December 2017 found that 71 percent of Republican voters believed the allegations were false.

The poll also found 92 percent of Republicans who don't believe the allegations against Moore said the Democrats are behind the charges, and 88 percent said newspapers and the media are behind them.

Despite his support among Republican voters, national Democrats would be happy to have such a controversial candidate opposing Jones. Jones might not beat a traditional Republican candidate in 2020 — but Democrats know that he has already beaten Roy Moore once.

Mason-Dixon Poll Apr. 9-Apr. 11, 2019; 400 registered voters who identified their party affiliation as Republican; margin of error +/-5%  

View CBS News In