Lots Of Alabama Voters Care About Roy Moore’s Scandals

Roy Moore, who has been accused by two women of initiating unwanted sexual contact with them when they were underaged, is back in the lead in the most recent polls of Alabama’s Senate race. Although it’s still anyone’s election — turnout is hard to model in special elections and Moore’s lead is narrow — he has to be considered at least a modest favorite. …

Moore — even if he wins by a few points — will have vastly underperformed a typical Republican in Alabama. He’ll have benefitted from running in a highly partisan epoch in a deeply red state and from drawing an opponent in Democrat Doug Jones who has fairly liberal policy views, including on abortion. If Alabama were just slightly less red — say, if it were South Carolina or Texas instead — Jones would be on track to win, perhaps by a comfortable margin. In Alabama, he’s an underdog. Nonetheless, the marginal effect of the allegations and of Moore’s other controversies may be fairly large. CONT.

Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight