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GOP Voters Not Sure Moore Should Be Denied His Senate Seat If Elected

Friday, November 17, 2017

Republicans aren't sure whether the Senate GOP leadership should try to deny Roy Moore his seat if the embattled Senate candidate wins election next month.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 55% of Likely U.S. Voters have an unfavorable opinion of Moore, the former Alabama state judge who now faces multiple allegations of harassing young women. That includes 43% with a Very Unfavorable view. Just 22% now regard Moore favorably, with eight percent (8%) who view him Very Favorably. But one-in-five voters (22%) don't know enough about him to venture an opinion. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Before the allegations surfaced, Moore was heavily favored to win the Dec. 12 special Senate election in Alabama after defeating incumbent Luther Strange in the GOP primary. Now most leading Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have distanced themselves from Moore, and news reports suggest that GOP senators are considering ways to deny him his seat if elected. It's not clear, however, if they can legally do so.

But just 29% of Republicans think the Senate GOP should refuse to seat Moore if he is elected. Thirty-five percent (35%) oppose such a move, while just as many (36%) are undecided.

Among all voters, 43% say the Senate should deny Moore his seat; 27% disagree, and 30% are not sure.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 15-16, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology

Most voters think it’s probable Republicans will lose control of Congress in next year's midterm elections.

Forty percent (40%) of Republicans still have a favorable opinion of Moore, a view shared by just 15% of Democrats and 12% of unaffiliated voters.

Men (27%) hold a more favorable opinion of Moore than women (18%) do. But men feel more strongly that Republicans should refuse to seat him if he is elected.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of conservative voters still view Moore favorably, compared to just 11% of self-described moderates and 12% of liberals. Conservatives are also the least likely to say Republicans should refuse to seat the arch-conservative candidate as a senator.

Most voters who Strongly Approve of the job President Trump is doing (56%) have a favorable opinion of Moore, and 52% say Republicans should not try to refuse him his Senate seat. Among voters who Strongly Disapprove of the president's job performance, 79% view Moore unfavorably, and 62% think he should be denied a Senate seat.

Moore is in the race to take over the Senate seat formerly held by current Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters have a favorable opinion of Sessions, making him more popular than Eric Holder, the man who served as attorney general for much of Obama's presidency, and Holder's successor Loretta Lynch.

Just prior to his election, only 12% of voters said the allegations of sexual harassment by multiple women against then-presidential nominee Trump changed their decision on which presidential candidate to vote for. Eighty-three percent (83%) said the issue had not changed their mind.

On the other hand, former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner pleaded guilty earlier this year to texting sexually explicit material to an underage girl, and in May, voters strongly believed he should be put in prison for it. Weiner began a 21-month prison sentence for the sex charges early last week.

Looking back in 2015 on Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who infamously had an affair with President Bill Clinton, 69% now believe the 22-year-old’s relationship with the 49-year-old president was a consensual one between two adults. Just 22% believe Lewinsky was the victim of an older, more powerful man.

Amid growing allegations and criminal sexual assault charges against many public figures, most Americans see sexual harassment in the workplace as a serious problem, and nearly half have experienced it themselves or know someone who has. Among women, that number climbs to 56%.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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