A poll released Saturday shows Roy Moore trailing Democrat Doug Jones in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama – the first major survey since mid-November in which the embattled Republican was not in the lead.
Of the likely voters who took the poll, sponsored by the Washington Post and Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, 50 percent chose Jones and 47 went for Moore.
The Washington Post is the news outlet which has been at the forefront in reporting the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore, a former judge in Alabama. Several women have come forward in recent weeks to accuse Moore of making inappropriate romantic or sexual advances on them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
Moore denies the charges, but during the first couple weeks of November, amid political fallout including prominent Republican leaders calling on him to drop out, Moore saw his previously strong performance in polling plummet and Jones taking a healthy lead in some instances.
However, according to RealClearPolitics' tracker of polls, Moore's fortunes began to recover in the second half of the month, leading in the past few surveys, and currently possesses a 2 percent-average advantage over Jones.
Notably, President Trump recently offered a de facto endorsement of Moore by stating his opposition to "liberal" Jones, whom he said was "soft on crime." On the accusations facing Moore, Trump said only that Moore denies them.
The poll was conducted Nov. 27-30 by research firm Abt Associates among 749 likely voters. It was a 4.5 percentage point margin of error.
In its report, the Washington Post said to avoid influencing respondents' answers, pollsters did not mention the Post's sponsorship until the end of the survey.
The special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions will take place on Dec. 12.