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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Enten: Polling Trendline Favors Jones in Alabama — for Now

From Harry Enten’s “Is Roy Moore Losing?” at FiveThirtyEight.com:

A Change Research survey released Thursday found Democrat Doug Jones leading Republican Roy Moore 46 percent to 43 percent ahead of Alabama’s special Senate election on Dec. 12. The survey is just one of many to show that the allegations of child molestation and sexual misconduct against Moore have really eroded his support. Not only that, but the first few polls released after the allegations became public on Nov. 9 may have understated his problems. He seems to have fallen even further since then.

Enten adds that “The average of surveys fielded after the first accusations shows the race exactly tied,” and notes,

Let’s take a look at the three pollsters — Change Research, Gravis Marketingand Strategy Research — that conducted at least two surveys after the allegations. Change Research’s first post-allegations poll, conducted Nov. 9-11, had Moore at +4 points. As we noted above, its Nov. 15-16 survey had Jones at +3. Gravis Marketing showed an identical 7-point shift toward Jones, going from Moore +2 on Nov. 10 to Jones +5 in its Nov. 14-15 poll. Strategy Research, meanwhile, went from Moore +6 in its poll ending on Nov. 13 to Moore +2 in its poll ending on Nov. 21.

Further, Enten explains, “If these later surveys in Alabama are a truer reflection of where the race stands, Jones may actually have an advantage. An average of Alabama polls conducted over the past week, for instance, gives Jones a 47 percent to 43.5 percent lead.”

“Either way,” cautions Enten, “there’s still three weeks to go until election day. It’s possible that the trajectory of the race could change by then. There are also questionsabout what the partisan composition of the electorate will look like in a December off-year election — just how anti-Trump will it be? These factors make this race too uncertain to call.”

In other words, it could be all about turnout. Reporting on the ground games of the two candidates to date is pretty thin. But Democrats clearly have reason to hope that GOP’s monopoly of Alabama politics in recent years may be coming to an end.

Here’s the Jones campaign’s hard-hitting ad:

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