The survey interviewed 1,500 white female Alabama voters on land line phones on November 21, 2017 who were modeled as likely to participate in the upcoming special election for US Senate. We weighted the results by age based on 2014 general election turnout among white women. Education levels were self-reported by respondents. Click here for word clouds on their responses.
White women are likely to decide the winner in the upcoming Alabama US Senate runoff. As these women weigh the allegations against Roy Moore and consider their allegiance to the Republican brand, pollsters have difficulty measuring the impact on turnout and the reliability of the responses on the choice between Moore and Democrat Doug Jones. These white women face very intense social cross pressures: support an alleged sexual predator or vote for a Pro Choice Democrat. Our survey asked 1500 likely voting white women to tell us who they were supporting and why. We analyzed their responses by age and education level to arrive at these observations.
With Roy Moore supporters, loyalty to the Republican Party was exceeded only by loathing of Democrats. They know what is at stake in Washington and the implications for the Trump agenda. There was widespread dismissal of the allegations of sexual predatory behavior leveled against Roy Moore, given the timing of the charges and the “lack of proof” to date. These Moore supporters chose not to believe the charges and referenced his forty years in public life as a defender of “Christian values” as they described them. Another frequent justification for supporting Moore was Doug Jones’ position on abortion. The audiotapes of these women explaining their decisions were strident in their praise for Moore and condemnation of the liberal agenda. These are not reluctant voters.
For Doug Jones supporters, responses were more likely to say that that they were “against Moore” rather than “for Jones.” In general, these women fell into two camps: those who felt strongly the allegations against Moore disqualified him from consideration and those who remembered Moore’s long, embarrassing run on the stage of Alabama politics and the lamented the prospect of his show going national.
For Undecided white women in this survey, we found them largely discouraged. There were frequent critiques of “Democrats” and “liberals” among these voices and very little hand wringing over the veracity of the charges against Moore. Many appear to be yearning for the Republican establishment to “fix this” for them. More than a handful mentioned the possibility of a write-in as the only way to reconcile their conflict.