Roy Moore scandal ignites fundraising explosion for Democratic challenger Doug Jones

WASHINGTON — The Roy Moore scandal has unleashed a torrent of online donations to Democrat Doug Jones, who was collecting around $250,000 per day in its immediate aftermath, according to two sources familiar with the matter who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity.

Democrats may end up in the unlikely situation of dramatically outspending the GOP in the Senate contest in deep red Alabama now that national Republicans have abandoned Moore. The Republican candidate's bank account had been depleted by a tough primary battle even before nine women came forward to accuse of him of sexual impropriety.

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Women who have accused Roy Moore of sexual assault
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Women who have accused Roy Moore of sexual assault
Beverly Nelson (L) shows a school year book with attorney Gloria Allread during a news conference announcing new allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican congressional candidate Roy Moore, in New York, November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Gloria Deason
Wendy Miller
Gloria Deason
Wendy Miller
Gloria Deason
Accuser Beverly Young Nelson, reacts while reading a statement claiming that Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore sexually harassed her when she was 16, in New York, U.S., November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Attorney Gloria Allred stands with accuser Beverly Young Nelson, holding a sketch of herself made when she was 16 after reading a statement claiming that Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore sexually harassed her when she was 16, in New York, U.S., November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Beverly Nelson (L) reacts as she reads a statement to reporters with attorney Gloria Allred during a news conference announcing new allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican congressional candidate Roy Moore, in New York, November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Beverly Young Nelson (L) speaks to the media with her lawyer Gloria Allred, at a news conference where she has accused Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually abusing her when she was 16 on November 13, 2017 in New York City. Moore, a controversial politician who recently won a run-off against Luther Strange for Alabama's Senate seat, is currently fighting accusations alleging that he pursued sexual relationships with teenagers -- including a 14-year-old -- when he was in his 30s. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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The scandal has super-charged Jones' already robust online fundraising to "Ossoff-level money," as one Democrat put it, referring to failed Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, who amassed a staggering $30 million in a Georgia special election this year.

Unlike Ossoff, however, who was matched by an equally massive amount of GOP money, Jones' spending may go unanswered by pro-Moore forces through the Dec. 12 election.

Jones has kept national Democrats at arm's length, and skipped a Washington fundraiser this week. But that hasn’t stopped him from quietly enjoying the fruits of Democratic stars' prodigious email fundraising lists.

Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut raised more than $135,000 for Jones, according to an aide, while the liberal blog Daily Kos raked in nearly $138,000 for Jones since endorsing him just before the before The Washington Post published the first allegations against Moore.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Tim Kaine of Virginia, among others, also recently tapped their online donors on Jones' behalf.

Jones' campaign did not specifically address its post-scandal fundraising. But in a statement, campaign chairman Giles Perkins said, "We have seen a pickup in fundraising since Roy Moore was nominated and Alabama's choice became clear."

Moore started October with roughly half as much money in the bank as Jones, according to the most recent campaign finance disclosures available, and the cavalry most likely isn’t riding to his rescue.

The Republican National Committee and the GOP's Senate arm have severed ties with the Moore campaign, while an obscure super PAC, The Solution Fund, is the only group to spend any outside money on Moore’s behalf since the scandal broke, according to daily FEC data, which shows the fund spent just $26,000.

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Lawmakers react to Roy Moore sexual misconduct allegations
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Lawmakers react to Roy Moore sexual misconduct allegations
Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is accused of initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32, according to a Washington Post report.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and all… https://t.co/MXrceCZZ9a
If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations, Roy Moore should immediately step aside as a Senate candidate.
JUST NOW: @lisamurkowski on WaPo Report on Roy Moore: “I’m horrified and if it’s true he should step down immediately.”
If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately.
Look, I'm sorry, but even before these reports surfaced, Roy Moore's nomination was a bridge too far.
The allegations leveled at Roy Moore are disturbing. I have serious concerns about his prior conduct and fitness fo… https://t.co/EQcUEpHRKH
Ted Cruz: Roy Moore allegations "serious and troubling," should "immediately withdraw" if true… https://t.co/XuW33Chx5j
NRSC Chairman Cory Gardner: “If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out.” https://t.co/y4UEOJmZWa
Portman says Moore should drop out of the race if the Moore reports are true, says he has “no reason to doubt”… https://t.co/mOhGuTl2d9
I've long opposed Roy Moore & his divisive viewpoints. The actions described make him unfit for office. The GOP mus… https://t.co/8rpkIH3FkX
I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate.
Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I… https://t.co/cuO0MkNxVJ
I have now read Mr. Moore’s statement and listened to his radio interview in which he denies the charges. I did not… https://t.co/OQDdcvO3fX
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Jones had the TV airways all to himself for four weeks before Moore went up with his first ad, giving the Democrat a whopping 11-1 spending advantage on the airwaves, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Of course, Jones, a first-time candidate in a state with weak Democrat infrastructure, will need all the money he can get to make up for the myriad of other disadvantages he faces.

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