Roy Moore's Democratic opponent releases new ad amid sexual misconduct allegations

Doug Jones, the Democrat opposing embattled Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race, has released a new ad in which voters, some of whom claim to be Republican, say they are voting for Jones after five women have come forward accusing Moore of inappropriately pursuing them when they were teens. 

In the new 30-second ad paid for by Doug Jones for Senate, none of the voters mentions the allegations against Moore. But their comments clearly cut to the question of Moore's integrity. It's too early to tell how the allegations against Moore are affecting his chances with voters, with polling results sparse.

"You read the story and it just shakes you," says one voter, in what appears to be interpreted as the original Washington Post story accusing Moore of sexually touching a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.

"I'm a Republican, but Roy Moore? No way," another voter says in the ad. 

Common Ground by Doug Jones for Senate on YouTube

Here is the text of the ad:

Voter 1: "I'm a lifelong Republican, but I just can't do it."

Voter 2: "I can't vote for Roy Moore."

Voter 3: "He's already been removed from office twice."

Voter 4: "This time it's even worse."

Voter 5: "You read the story and it just shakes you."

Voter 6: "Just awful."

Voter 7: "I just don't trust him."

Voter 3 (again): "He's too divisive."

Voter 5 (again): "Do decency and integrity matter anymore?"

Voter 4 (again): "I'm a Republican, but Roy Moore? No way."

Voter 1 (again): "I'm for Doug Jones."

Voter 2 (again): "I'm another Republican for Doug Jones."

Doug Jones: "I'm Doug Jones and I approve this message."

Republicans are scrambling to determine what to do about Moore, especially after a fifth accuser emerged Monday accusing him of grabbing her neck and forcing it towards his crotch when she was 16 years old. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, have both called for him to step aside, and Sen. Cory Gardner, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has said the Senate should expel Moore if he is elected. 

But their options are limited. As long as Moore chooses to stay in the race, a last-minute write-in campaign could mean splitting the ticket among GOP voters, giving Jones the win. If Moore wins election, expelling him would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate. 

The special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is Dec. 12. 

Moore so far has denied the allegations and threatened to sue the Washington Post, although he had a difficult time remembering whether he dated teens when he was in his 30s. Appearing on Sean Hannity's radio show last week, he answered "No, not generally," when asked whether he would have dated teen girls when he was a grown man.

CBS News Political Director Steve Chaggaris contributed to this report. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.