The newest Emerson College poll shows Democrat Doug Jones pulling within just three percentage points of Republican Roy Moore in the Senate seat race.
The poll included write-in candidate Lee Busby who received 5 percent of the vote. Moore led the three with 49 percent support and Jones trailed close behind with 46 percent. Busby’s name will not appear on the December 12 special election ballot.
Why this matters: Busby may become a Moore spoiler since his supporters in the poll largely identified themselves as Republicans, said Emerson professor Spencer Kimball in a podcast.
— The survey asked 500 “very likely” voters, “If the special election for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat were today, for whom would you vote or lean towards voting?”
— The poll has a margin of error of 4.3 percent, so it could be even more of a dead heat than reported.
— A previous Emerson poll, taken before Busby announced his write-in campaign and immediately after allegations broke of Moore’s sexual misconduct, showed Moore leading Jones by 10 percentage points (55 percent to 45 percent).
— In that poll, 28 percent of voters said The Washington Post story affected their vote, while 59 percent said it had no effect on their decision.
— A new CBS / YouGov poll has 71 percent of Republican likely voters saying the allegations against Moore are false.
If Busby and Jones supporters turn out come election day, it may make just enough a difference to make Jones the winner, despite the overwhelming majority of Republican voters who do not believe the Moore allegations are true.