McConnell: Let Alabama voters decide if Moore joins Senate

Alabama's closely watched U.S. Senate race is a neck-and-neck contest as voter concerns about personal moral conduct weigh on the candidacy of Republican Roy Moore, according to a new Washington Post-Schar School poll.

The Kentucky Republican backed Luther Strange, Moore's opponent in the GOP primary, then called for Moore to quit the general election race after several women last month accused him of sexual misconduct or behavior. Moore vehemently denies the allegations. Only 2 percent said they're "definitely false" and 5 percent said they're "probably false", while 7 percent said they don't have an opinion.

Among all likely voters, almost two out of ten (18%) think the allegations, whether true or false, are not serious. The Democratic candidate leads by 18 points with women while Moore is ahead by 15 points among men, according to the survey.

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McConnell on Sunday said it is up to Alabama voters to decide the election and that should Moore win, it would be up to the Senate Ethics Committee to consider the women's accusations. One of the accusers, Leigh Corfman, told The Washington Post she was 14 and Mr. Moore was 32 when he touched her over her underpants and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.

Still, the most eye-popping statistic from the CBS poll is likely a reliable indicator of the Republican base's mentality: 71 percent of Republican voters don't believe the allegations against Moore are true, despite a preponderance of very credible evidence.

A CBS News/YouGov poll on Sunday said Moore, twice deposed from the Alabama Supreme Court for failing to adhere to federal court rulings, is ahead of Jones, a former federal prosecutor, by a 49-to-43 percent margin among likely voters.

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After McConnell said Moore should step aside, Moore tweeted that it was McConnell who should bow out of politics, saying he "has failed conservatives and must be replaced".

The poll was conducted between November 28 and December 1.

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