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Trump, Obama reach out to Alabama voters in Senate race

By
Doug G. Ware
Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones speaks Monday during a campaign event in Birmingham, Ala. Jones is running against Republican Roy Moore in Tuesday's special election. Photo by Cameron Carnes/UPI
Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones speaks Monday during a campaign event in Birmingham, Ala. Jones is running against Republican Roy Moore in Tuesday's special election. Photo by Cameron Carnes/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 11 (UPI) -- With the end of the race to fill the Alabama Senate seat once occupied by Attorney General Jeff Sessions less than 48 hours away, experts say it's still virtually impossible to project a winner.

Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones will wrap their whirlwind campaigns Monday night for an election that is significant on two fronts -- for both parties' hopes to grab valuable power in the upper chamber of Congress, and for the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore.

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Pollsters say Moore maintains a slight lead in the race, but data so far indicate that the vote tally will be extremely close.

"There is no like election like this one," Democratic pollster Zac McCrary said.

RELATED RNC renews support for Roy Moore's Senate campaign

Tuesday's special election will fill the seat vacated by Sessions when he was appointed earlier this year to be President Donald Trump's Justice Department chief.

Trump has recorded automated calls stumping for Moore, while former President Barack Obama has made similar calls for Jones.

"This one's serious. You can't sit it out," Obama said in the audio recording.

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RELATED Trump endorses Roy Moore for Senate amid sex scandal

Alabama is a Republican stronghold. But Jones' chances were lifted by accusations from several women accusing Moore of sexual misconduct, including unwanted sexual advances or assault, when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s in the 1970s.

Trump has endorsed Moore, a move that prompted the Republican National Committee to reinstate financial support for Moore after initially withdrawing it.

Moore has denied the allegations of misconduct.

RELATED Franken announces Senate resignation amid sexual misconduct claims

One poll by Gravis Marketing showed that 43 percent of Alabama residents believe the accusations of misconduct against Moore -- and that nearly 50 percent said they plan to vote for him. Forty-five percent said they will vote for Jones.

Of the undecided voters, 27 percent said they are leaning toward Jones, 24 percent for Moore and about half are unsure.

Voter turnout, experts say, is going to be critical to the win.

"Data collected over the past week ... show everything between an 8 percentage-point margin favoring Jones and a 9 percentage-point margin favoring Moore," Survey Monkey's Mark Blumenthal said. "[The] findings make a projection of the outcome virtually impossible."

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