The Takeaway: Roy Moore Back in Front

The Takeaway: Roy Moore Back in Front
Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP
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Intriguing tidbits from the week in election surveys and public opinion polls.

More Moore in Alabama: When we last checked on Roy Moore, his mid-November numbers had dropped dramatically in the wake of accusations of inappropriate sexual advances on teenage girls when he was in his 30s -- including one who was 14 at the time. Moore has refused calls to quit the race, and he received a boost during the Thanksgiving break from President Trump, who urged Alabama voters to reject Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, saying he would be a  “disaster.” Did it help? That’s uncertain. Two new polls released this week had some good news and less-good news for the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. An Emerson survey shows him with a six-point lead, but that is down four points from the last Emerson poll in early November. But a second survey from JMC Analytics shows Moore with a five-point lead, which is a fairly significant rebound from the pollster’s Nov. 9-11 survey, which had Jones ahead by four.  Overall, the former state Supreme Court justice has bounced back to a two-percentage-point lead in the RCP Average, with just 11 days until Alabamans make their choice.

The Kids Are All Right. Or Are They?  The upshot of the new survey of millennials from NBC/GenForward can be summed up this way: Young voters – particularly minorities -- generally like Democrats, dislike Republicans, and hate President Trump. But a sizeable majority of young voters (71 percent) say a major third party is needed because Republicans and Democrats do such a poor job of serving the public. Also of note is what different millennial groups think is the most important issue facing America. Among African-Americans, racism (23 percent) leads the list; among Latinos, it’s immigration (20 percent); and for Asian-Americans and whites, it’s health care (16 and 17 percent, respectively).

The Tax Plan Cometh: A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that opposition to the GOP tax overhaul making its way through Congress is growing. Forty-nine percent of those aware of the plan opposed it in the November survey, up from 41 percent the previous month. Naturally, the views varied widely by party: 82 percent of Democrats opposed the plan, compared to just 15 percent of Republicans.

The Fight Against ISIS: As the United States military continues to battle it out against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a new Pew Research survey finds that Americans are feeling better about those efforts there than they were just a year ago. Currently, 13 percent of respondents told Pew researchers that the U.S. military campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq is going “very well” while another 42 percent say it’s going “fairly well.” In October of 2016, those numbers were just 6 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Overall, 69 percent of Americans approve of the military campaign, with 25 percent disapproving. That’s a net gain of 15 points versus the public’s approval (62 percent) and disapproval (33 percent) in April of 2016. 

The Never-Ending Obamacare Fight: Gallup’s annual health and health-care survey released this week shows that approval for the Affordable Care Act stands at 50 percent, which is down from its record high of 55 percent last year. But this is still well above other ratings dating back to 2012. Not surprisingly, Democrats who approve of the law are more inclined than they’ve been to keep it as is, while Republicans remain overwhelmingly opposed to the ACA -- seven in 10 want to see it repealed and replaced.

Tom Bevan is the Co-Founder & Publisher of RealClearPolitics and the co-author of Election 2012: A Time for Choosing. Email:, Twitter: @TomBevanRCP

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