Polling trends for Trump and Roy Moore are starting to look remarkably similar

  • Polling trends are remarkably similar between Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
  • Moore has essentially taken a page out of Trump's playbook in his response to sexual misconduct allegations that he preyed on young girls when he was in his 30s.
  • Those polling trends represent larger parallels between Moore and Trump.


Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore's polling rebound has begun to follow a similar pattern to then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in the month that followed bombshell sexual misconduct-related revelations against them.

Moore, the Alabama candidate who last month was hit with allegations that he preyed on teenagers when he was in his 30s, saw his RealClearPolitics polling average dip immediately. His substantial lead over Democratic opponent Doug Jones evaporated in the week that followed the initial revelations.

But now, less than a month after the first allegations were made public, Moore has regained a lead over Jones and has watched his polling average return to a familiar level.

The trend mirrors one that Trump experienced following the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape last fall.

RELATED: Roy Moore and his wife through the years

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Roy Moore and his wife, Kayla, through the years
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Roy Moore and his wife, Kayla, through the years
GALLANT, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore on Sassy and wife Kayla on Sundance ride their horses to the Gallant Fire Hall to vote in today's GOP runoff election September 26, 2017 in Gallant, Alabama. Moore is running against Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to fill Jeff Session's seat. (Photo by Hal Yeager/Getty Images)
Republican Roy Moore, along with his wife Kayla, arrive at the RSA Activity Center in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. September 26, 2017, during the runoff election for the Republican nomination for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and his wife Kayla arrive at state Supreme Court in Montgomery, Alabama, November 13, 2003. Moore, whose refusal to obey a U.S. order to move a Ten Commandments monument fueled a national debate over the place of God in public life, was stripped of his office by a state judicial panel on Thursday. REUTERS/Bob Ealum BE/SV
Suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) exits the Alabama Supreme Court chamber with his wife Kayla following the reading of the verdict of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary at the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Alabama, November 13, 2003. Moore, whose refusal to obey a U.S. order to move a Ten Commandments monument fueled a national debate over the place of God in public life, was stripped of his office by a state judicial panel on Thursday. REUTERS/Mickey Welsh /Advertiser/POOL MW/SV
Ex-Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka (L) campaigns for U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore, with his wife Kayla Moore (R), at the Historic Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
Judge Roy Moore's wife Kayla participates in the Mid-Alabama Republican Club's Veterans Day Program in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, U.S., November 11, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
BIRMINGHAM, AL - NOVEMBER 16: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore speaks as his wife Kayla Moore looks on during a news conference with supporters and faith leaders, November 16, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Moore refused to answer questions regarding sexual harassment allegations and pursuing relationships with underage women. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, AL - NOVEMBER 16: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore and his wife Kayla Moore exit a news conference with supporters and faith leaders, November 16, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Moore refused to answer questions regarding sexual harassment allegations and pursuing relationships with underage women. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore and his wife Kayla greet supporters at an election-night rally on September 26, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama supreme court, defeated incumbent Luther Strange in a primary runoff election for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. Moore will now face Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the general election in December. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
GALLANT, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and wife Kayla leave the Gallant Fire Hall after voting in today's GOP runoff election September 26, 2017 in Gallant, Alabama. Moore is running against Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to fill Jeff Session's seat. (Photo by Hal Yeager/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore and his wife Kayla greet supporters at an election-night rally on September 26, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama supreme court, defeated incumbent Luther Strange in a primary runoff election for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. Moore will now face Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the general election in December. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
GALLANT, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, mother Evelyn Ridgeway (L), and wife Kayla (R) prepare to vote at the Gallant Fire Hall in today's GOP runoff election September 26, 2017 in Gallant, Alabama. Moore is running against Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to fill Jeff Session's seat. (Photo by Hal Yeager/Getty Images)
Ex-Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka (L) applauds as he campaigns for U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore with his wife Kayla Moore (R) at the Historic Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Tami Chappell TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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In his head-to-head RCP polling average against 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump watched his numbers take a slight dip. Clinton increased her lead from 4.7 points to 7.1 points within a 10-day stretch followin the release of the tape in early October.

But, like Moore, Trump then began to rebound. Quickly.

By November 1, less than a month after the tape's release, Trump had shrunk Clinton's lead to just 2.2 points in the head-to-head matchup. That lead soon plummeted to just 1.3 points. Meanwhile, Trump's polling average was more than 2 points higher than it was prior to the "Access Hollywood" tape's release.

There are differences in each case. For instance, Trump was the beneficiary of former FBI Director James Comey's 11th-hour letter announcing that the bureau had found new emails related to the Clinton investigation. Additionally, Moore is running a single-state race, one that happens to take place in arguably the most Republican state in the country.

Still, one thing appears to be true in both instances: A large-enough portion of voters had short memories when it involved a candidate who would vote how they liked and agreed with them on the issues, despite the allegations against them.

The polling trends are representative of how closely both situations mirror each other

Both men vehemently denied the allegations and went on scorched-earth campaigns against their accusers and the news organizations that published the revelations in the weeks that followed, with Moore following Trump's post-"Access Hollywood" playbook in a nearly identical way. Both threatened to sue accusers and news outlets that reported on the revelations. Both refused all calls from their own party to drop out of the race.

Their supporters have drawn the comparison between both scenarios too.

"By the way, the [Jeff] Bezos Amazon Washington Post that dropped that dime on Donald Trump is the same Bezos Amazon Washington Post that dropped a dime this afternoon on Judge Roy Moore," Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News executive and former White House chief strategist, said last month. "Is that a coincidence?"

The refusal to drop out, and the subsequent polling rebounds, eventually led to each candidate having GOP leaders back off their calls for the two men to drop out of their respective races. Trump faced an avalanche of calls to get out following the "Access Hollywood" tape, only to have them subside and, in many cases, be reversed.

In Moore's case, he received a substantial walk-back from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday.

"I'm going to let the people of Alabama make the call," McConnell said on ABC's "This Week."

He added: "The election's been going on a long time, there's been a lot of discussion about it. They're going to make the decision a week from Tuesday."

McConnell last month said he thought Moore should step aside, and that he believes Moore's accusers, warning that the Alabama candidate would "immediately" face a Senate Ethics Committee investigation after being sworn in. That process could lead to Moore's expulsion from the Senate.

"The Ethics Committee will have to have consider the matters that have been litigated in the campaign, should that particular candidate win," McConnell said Sunday.

Trump, who was initially quiet on the Moore allegations, recently gave the candidate an implicit endorsement, saying, "We don't need a liberal person ... a Democrat," in that seat.

RELATED: Roy Moore through the years

19 PHOTOS
Roy Moore through the years
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Roy Moore through the years
FILE PHOTO: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore faces the media after being removed from office in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. November 13, 2003. REUTERS/Bob Ealum/File Photo
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 4: GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore, holding an article about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during the U.S. Senate candidate forum held by the Shelby County Republican Party in Pelham, Ala., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is running in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 3: GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore speaks during a candidates' forum in Valley, Ala., on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is running in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 3: GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore speaks during a candidates' forum in Valley, Ala., on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is running in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 7: Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore speaks to parishoners at The Church of the Apostles September 7, 2003 in Atlanta, Georgia. Moore's Ten Commandments monument was recently removed from the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - AUGUST 16: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore leaves a rally in support of a monument of the Ten Commandments August 16, 2003 in Montgomery, Alabama. Moore said Thursday that he will defy a federal judge's order to remove the monument from the state judicial building rotunda. (Photo by Gary Tramontina/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - AUGUST 25: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore leaves a news conference at the State Judicial building August 25, 2003 in Montgomery, Alabama. Moore is currently suspened for not following a federal court order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the building. (Photo by Gary Tramontina/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore, greets guests after arriving at an election-night rally on September 26, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama supreme court, is in a primary runoff contest against incumbent Luther Strange for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FAIRHOPE, AL - SEPTEMBER 25: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore, speaks at a campaign rally on September 25, 2017 in Fairhope, Alabama. Moore is running in a primary runoff election against incumbent Luther Strange for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. The runoff election is scheduled for September 26. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 3: GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore speaks during a candidates' forum in Valley, Ala., on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is running in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 3: GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore arrives for the candidates' forum in Valley, Ala., on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is running in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Roy Moore, GOP Senate candidate and former chief justice on the Alabama Supreme Court speaks during the annual Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shorham Hotel on October 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 31: Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, is questioned by the media in the Capitol on October 31, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
FAIRHOPE, AL - SEPTEMBER 25: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore, speaks at a campaign rally on September 25, 2017 in Fairhope, Alabama. Moore is running in a primary runoff election against incumbent Luther Strange for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. The runoff election is scheduled for September 26. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FAIRHOPE, AL - SEPTEMBER 25: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore, greets guests at a campaign rally on September 25, 2017 in Fairhope, Alabama. Moore is running in a primary runoff election against incumbent Luther Strange for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. The runoff election is scheduled for September 26. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FAIRHOPE, AL - SEPTEMBER 25: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore, speaks at a campaign rally on September 25, 2017 in Fairhope, Alabama. Moore is running in a primary runoff election against incumbent Luther Strange for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. The runoff election is scheduled for September 26. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 3: GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore arrives for the candidates' forum in Valley, Ala., on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is running in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 3: GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore speaks during a candidates' forum in Valley, Ala., on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017. The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court is running in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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"He totally denies it," Trump said of the sexual-misconduct allegations against Moore.

On Monday, Trump made his endorsement much more explicit.

"Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama," Trump tweeted. "We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more."

"Putting Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Puppet Jones into office in Alabama would hurt our great Republican Agenda of low on taxes, tough on crime, strong on military and borders...& so much more," Trump said in a subsequent tweet.

That argument appears to be aimed at those voters who may have initially abandoned Moore, only to return when the controversy left the front pages to back a candidate who agrees with their views, even amid such an episode. Those are the same voters who helped put Trump over the top last fall.

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