A new poll reveals that Democrat Doug Jones has a 12 percentage point lead over Republican candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election for the U.S. Senate.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee survey conducted between Nov. 12 and 13 found Jones with 51 percent support compared to Moore at 39 percent, Politico reports.
Moore has come under increased pressure to withdraw from the Senate race a number of women alleged he sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers. The NRSC ended its backing for Moore after The Washington Post published the first allegations against him on Nov. 9.
In early October, a committee poll gave Moore a 16 percentage point lead, and a survey in early November said he still enjoyed a 9 point lead.
Moore continues to deny the sexual assault allegations against him. On Nov. 13, 56-year-old Beverly Nelson alleged that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 and Moore was in his 30s.
"I can tell you without hesitation, this is absolutely false," Moore stated, according to CNN. "I never did what she said I did. I don't even know the woman. I don't know anything about her."
At a Nov. 15 press conference, Phillip Jauregui, Moore's attorney, sought to further undermine Nelson's accusation.
He disputed Nelson's suggestion that she never interacted with Moore after the alleged assault.
"As it turns out, in 1999, Ms. Nelson filed a divorce action against her then-husband, Mr. Harris," Jauregui added. "Guess who that case was before? It was filed in Etowah County, and the judge assigned was Roy S. Moore, circuit judge of Etowah County. There was contact."
Moore is also challenging Nelson's allegation that he wrote a message in her school yearbook in 1977. Nelson said Moore wrote, "To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say, 'Merry Christmas.'"
Moore's attorney has demanded that the yearbook be handed over to a neutral party and a handwriting expert be hired to evaluate it, adding: "We'll find out: Is it genuine, or is it a fraud?"
Leading Republicans have appealed for Moore to drop out of the Senate race, whole some, such as Sen Cory Gardner of Colorado, have urged he be expelled from the Senate if he wins.
Even Fox News host Sean Hannity, a Moore supporter, stated on Nov. 14 that the former judge had to substantively address the allegations of sexual misconduct within the next day.