Alabama voters struggle with whether to support Roy Moore

Roy Moore is forcing Alabama Republicans to ask themselves some tough questions.Accusations that the Republica...

Posted: Dec 10, 2017 9:58 AM
Updated: Dec 10, 2017 9:58 AM

Roy Moore is forcing Alabama Republicans to ask themselves some tough questions.

Accusations that the Republican nominee for a US Senate seat from Alabama pursued relationships with teenagers, molested a 14-year-old and sexually assaulted a 16-year-old when he was in his 30s have thrown Tuesday's special election race into chaos.

President Donald Trump endorsed Senate candidate Roy Moore this week

Even Moore's supporters have struggled to explain why they will vote for him

Republican leadership in Capitol Hill, the Republican National Committee and the White House for a time appeared to dump his candidacy -- but now President Donald Trump, as well as party resources, are firmly back behind Moore, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, and his supporters predict a win.

"I think we're going to see Roy Moore win pretty handily in Baldwin County," local Republican activist Matthew Brown told CNN. "I think we're going to see a lower turnout than normal, but I think we're still going to see folks come to the polls, even folks who don't like the situation."

RELATED: Roy Moore's incredible 'even though we had slavery' quote

Residents of Fairhope and Daphne, towns along the Eastern Shore of deeply red Baldwin County, represent the types of Republican voters Democratic candidate Doug Jones will have to cut into if he hopes to win, says Brown.

Republicans here tend to be politically moderate, with higher incomes and higher levels of education, while lacking the racial diversity found in neighboring Mobile County.

Signs supporting Jones scattered across lawns around Fairhope are raising some eyebrows in the area.

Leslie Goldberg, who is 62 and has lived in the Fairhope area for 25 years, said she felt many Republican voters are hesitant.

"I'm not going to vote for Roy Moore, at all. For obvious reasons," she told CNN. "All that's left is Doug Jones, who of course is a Democrat. And then there's a lot of things I don't like about him either. But what's the worst of two evils?"

Still, many Alabama voters prioritize maintaining a slim two-seat majority in the Senate in Washington.

And the national attention on Alabama's race has invigorated some local Republicans.

"They feel like they're voting against everybody who doesn't want Roy Moore," Brown told CNN of some area Republicans who are not fans of Moore. "They feel like there's this bigger thing they're voting against."

The national focus was in the forefront Tuesday night when former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon joined Moore for a rally in Fairhope.

"They want to destroy judge Roy Moore and they want to take your voice away," Bannon told the crowd in Fairhope. "If they can destroy Roy Moore they can destroy you."

Although few voters told CNN they'd actually pull the lever for a Democrat, some voters expressed discomfort with some of Moore's stances.

Jones' pro-abortion-rights stance has cost him votes in Alabama but Moore's focus on religious beliefs turned off some voters even before the accusations against him.

"I feel like a lot of it is hot air," wedding planner Candy Williams said of Moore's controversial stances. "I really think that Trump's endorsement is because we want the seat, but at which point do we just keep sweeping stuff under the rug?"

Williams, who supports Trump, told CNN she thought many voters wouldn't admit it publicly but would probably vote for Moore.

Connie Holmes, a retired bookkeeper in Fairhope, said she had voted for Moore's primary opponent, incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to temporarily fill the seat after then-Sen. Jeff Sessions became Trump's attorney general.

Holmes plans to cast a write-in vote for Strange, even it it could help Jones win.

"At least I was thinking Luther," Holmes told CNN. "Everything has gone haywire all of a sudden in the last six months."

Some voters said the best case scenario would see Moore win and then be removed by the Senate Ethics Committee, leaving them with a new chance to elect a different Republican.

Voters were also focused on supporting Trump's agenda in Washington, but many of the female voters in Fairhope who said they'd vote for Moore didn't feel comfortable giving their names to CNN.

"I think all candidates have some disadvantages in the way they've conducted themselves but I'm probably leaning towards the Republican," Asheton Sawyer, a pastor at the Fairhope First Baptist Church, told CNN. "Look at President Trump. I see some disappointments in him but I felt that he is probably the best for us right now."

As the Republican Party continues to transform under the Trump presidency, Fairhope provides a hint of how some Republicans are struggling to adapt.

Jimmy Babb, 51, who owns a local fitness business, told CNN he would vote for Moore even though he didn't agree with the way the candidate had handled controversies that led to his suspension as the state's Supreme Court chief justice.

Babb, who supported Trump in 2016 and thinks the President is doing "OK," is still wrestling with the accusations against Moore.

"I don't know. Dating young girls, I still have a tough time with it," he told CNN. "I wish we had better options."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 135372

Reported Deaths: 2406
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34290991
Ramsey14168361
Dakota9897138
Anoka8872150
Washington598672
Stearns588344
Scott342934
Olmsted327730
St. Louis302669
Wright254115
Clay232843
Nobles227616
Blue Earth20457
Carver18207
Sherburne171122
Kandiyohi17055
Rice164810
Mower152917
Winona126019
Chisago10402
Crow Wing103522
Lyon9766
Benton9509
Waseca9299
Beltrami9017
Otter Tail8737
Todd8266
Steele7613
Morrison7429
Nicollet73917
Itasca73617
Douglas7083
Freeborn6844
Polk6734
Le Sueur6315
Martin61317
McLeod6024
Goodhue59711
Watonwan5794
Becker5754
Isanti5615
Pine5490
Carlton4441
Chippewa4443
Mille Lacs41315
Hubbard3962
Dodge3940
Wabasha3840
Cass3775
Pipestone35117
Rock3404
Meeker3313
Brown3243
Unassigned29253
Yellow Medicine2856
Murray2833
Cottonwood2820
Redwood28111
Roseau2650
Fillmore2640
Renville25611
Sibley2543
Wadena2393
Faribault2350
Jackson2151
Kanabec21510
Swift2071
Houston2061
Pennington1951
Lincoln1840
Stevens1841
Aitkin1792
Koochiching1704
Pope1610
Big Stone1410
Lac qui Parle1403
Wilkin1374
Marshall1261
Lake1230
Norman1170
Mahnomen1162
Clearwater1140
Grant994
Red Lake782
Traverse570
Lake of the Woods441
Kittson420
Cook170

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 116514

Reported Deaths: 1643
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19024288
Woodbury724797
Johnson586230
Black Hawk562698
Linn5591132
Dubuque521157
Scott456639
Story401018
Dallas346344
Pottawattamie324744
Sioux244716
Buena Vista226112
Marshall202036
Webster184415
Plymouth166728
Wapello153062
Clinton149226
Muscatine147758
Des Moines139610
Cerro Gordo137726
Crawford136114
Warren12617
Carroll115612
Jasper111234
Henry10675
Marion101810
Lee95610
Tama94837
Delaware78013
Dickinson7417
Wright7271
Boone7239
Mahaska69724
Bremer6779
Washington66211
Harrison65815
Jackson6333
Benton5902
Lyon5537
Clay5354
Louisa52315
Winnebago49719
Hardin4777
Winneshiek4779
Hamilton4754
Cedar4746
Kossuth4690
Poweshiek45911
Buchanan4544
Jones4474
Floyd43711
Emmet43019
Clayton4233
Iowa4109
Page4060
Mills4053
Cherokee4032
Sac3994
Guthrie39515
Cass3903
Butler3832
Fayette3814
Franklin38118
Shelby3732
Allamakee3719
Madison3623
Chickasaw3611
Clarke3523
Humboldt3253
Hancock3204
Palo Alto3142
Grundy3115
Calhoun3094
Osceola2851
Mitchell2811
Howard2709
Monroe25911
Monona2451
Taylor2432
Jefferson2391
Union2314
Appanoose2273
Pocahontas2262
Fremont2061
Lucas2056
Ida1932
Greene1870
Van Buren1802
Davis1784
Montgomery1787
Adair1701
Keokuk1611
Decatur1500
Audubon1481
Worth1450
Wayne1213
Ringgold882
Adams810
Unassigned110
Rochester
Clear
20° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 7°
Mason City
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 13°
Albert Lea
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 12°
Austin
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 15°
Charles City
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 18°
Temps gradually warming through the week!
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events