Sexual assault allegations are shaking up the status quo from Hollywood to Capitol Hill. The Washington Post reported accusations that Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, pursued sexual encounters with four teenagers when he was in his 30s, the youngest of which was a 14-year-old girl. This accuser said Moore kissed her, molested her and forced her to touch him.
According to a Thursday poll by Opinion Savvy and Decision Desk HQ, Moore is now tied with democratic opponent Doug Jones. Moore's popularity dropped from 50.2 percent in September to 46.4 percent in the wake of the recent scandal. Jones is now more popular with women voters. More than a third of respondents believe Moore should drop out of the race.
"Best case scenario is for him to step aside which seems unlikely," an anonymous Republican Senate operative told CNN. "Next best case is for the Alabama electorate to beat his ass like a drum and make it clear that regardless of party affiliation the GOP does not tolerate child predators." Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said Moore should stop campaigning if the allegations are true.
There has been no word from Moore’s team so far about any plans to bow out. To the contrary, Moore tweeted: “I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values!” His campaign called the investigative article a “baseless political attack.”
Moore’s campaign sent out a new fundraising email on Thursday night, which sparked backlash on social media. Meanwhile, Politico reported the National Republican Senatorial Committee quietly removed its joint fundraising committee listing with Moore's campaign.
Moore’s supporters, including former White House advisor and Breitbart chief Steve Bannon, claim the allegations are a political stunt. President Donald Trump offered his support for the Republican candidate, saying the personal testimonies of these four women were "mere allegations" about events from "years ago."