Allegations, Democratic surge doomed Roy Moore, exit poll shows

WASHINGTON — In the end, a combination of two different storylines doomed Republican Roy Moore in Alabama's Senate race, according to the exit poll of the contest.

The first revolved around the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore, with one woman charging him with initiating a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old and he was 32.

Fifty-two percent of voters in Alabama said those allegations were either "definitely" or "probably" true, and they broke for Democrat Doug Jones, 89 percent to 8 percent.

That was compared with 43 percent of voters who said the allegations were "definitely" or "probably" false. Those voters went for Moore by a 94 percent-to-4 percent margin.

In addition, Moore was unpopular with Alabama voters (56 percent of them said they had an unfavorable view of the Republican), versus 50 percent who had a favorable view of Jones.

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Roy Moore on Senate election day in Alabama
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Roy Moore on Senate election day in Alabama
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore rides his horse after voting in Gallant, Alabama, U.S., December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks to the media after he cast his ballot in Gallant, Alabama, U.S., December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
"Make America Great Again" hats lie on a table at Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks to the media after he cast his ballot in Gallant, Alabama, U.S., December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 11: Judge Roy Moore rides away on his horse after voting at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
A saxophonist entertains the guests gathered for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 11: Judge Roy Moore emerges to speak to the media after voting at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Supporters perform the Pledge of Allegiance at Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore's election night party in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore walks his horses after voting in Gallant, Alabama, U.S., December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks to the media after he cast his ballot in Gallant, Alabama, U.S., December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 11: Judge Roy Moore ties his horse to a fence as he arrives to vote at the Gallant Volunteer Fire Department in Gallant, Ala., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Roy Moore, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, arrives on horseback to a polling location in Gallant, Alabama, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. Democrat Doug Jones and Moore made their election eve pitches to Alabama voters in settings that evoked the cultural and political divide that's come to define the two parties in modern America. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MONTGOMERY, AL - DECEMBER 12: Mike Tate holds his son, Seth Tate, as he and his family await the arrival of Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore for his election night party in the RSA Activity Center on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Moore is facing off against Democrat Doug Jones in the special election for the U.S. Senate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore (L) and his wife Kayla ride their horses to the polling station to vote in Gallant, AL, on December 12, 2017. The state of Alabama holds a closely-watched special election for US Senate featuring Republican candidate Roy Moore, who is endorsed by President Donald Trump despite being accused of molesting teenaged girls. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore (C) departs on his horse, Sassy, at the polling station after voting in Gallant, AL, on December 12, 2017 The state of Alabama holds a closely-watched special election for US Senate featuring Republican candidate Roy Moore, who is endorsed by President Donald Trump despite being accused of molesting teenaged girls. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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But the allegations against Moore weren't the entire reason why he lost.

The other story that doomed Moore: Democrats in ruby-red Alabama surged to voting places. That was particularly true among African-American voters.

According to the exit poll, Alabama voters were split on President Donald Trump's job performance, with 48 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving.

Yet the intensity regarding Trump benefited the Democrats — 41 percent of voters said they strongly disapproved of Trump's job, versus 32 percent who strongly approved.

For perspective, Trump beat Hillary Clinton last year in Alabama by 28 points, 62 percent to 34 percent.

What's more, in Tuesday night's contest, Republicans held just a six-point advantage in party identification, with 43 percent saying they were Republicans and 37 percent Democrats.

By contrast, in the 2012 presidential election when turnout was much higher, Republican had a nine-point advantage in party identification.

African Americans made up 29 percent of all Alabama voters, and they broke for Jones by a 96 percent-to-4 percent margin — essentially matching Barack Obama’s performance with African Americans in the state in 2012.

Ultimately, the counties that put Jones over the top on Election Night were the urban areas of Birmingham, Ala., and Mobile, Ala.

Bottom line: Democrats turned out to vote. Especially those who were opposed to President Trump.

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Doug Jones on Senate election day in Alabama
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Doug Jones on Senate election day in Alabama
Democratic Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones casts his vote at Brookwood Baptist Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
MOUNTAIN BROOK, AL - DECEMBER 12: Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones greets supporters after voting at Brookwood Baptist Church on December 12, 2017 in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Doug Jones is facing off against Republican Roy Moore in a special election for U.S. Senate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BESSEMER, AL - DECEMBER 12: A supporter of democratic Senatorial candidate Doug Jones holds a sign outside of a polling station at the Bessemer Civic Center on December 12, 2017 in Bessemer, Alabama. Doug Jones is facing off against Republican Roy Moore in a special election for U.S. Senate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BESSEMER, AL - DECEMBER 12: Democratic Senatorial candidate Doug Jones (L) prepares to greet voters outside of a polling station at the Bessemer Civic Center on December 12, 2017 in Bessemer, Alabama. Doug Jones is facing off against Republican Roy Moore in a special election for U.S. Senate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BESSEMER, AL - DECEMBER 12: Democratic Senatorial candidate Doug Jones (L) greets voters outside of a polling station at the Bessemer Civic Center on December 12, 2017 in Bessemer, Alabama. Doug Jones is facing off against Republican Roy Moore in a special election for U.S. Senate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BESSEMER, AL - DECEMBER 12: Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones prepares to greet voters outside of a polling station at the Bessemer Civic Center on December 12, 2017 in Bessemer, Alabama. Doug Jones is facing off against Republican Roy Moore in a special election for U.S. Senate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Doug Jones, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama, center, stands for a photograph with voters outside a polling location in Bessemer, Alabama, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. Jones and Republican Roy Moore made their election eve pitches to Alabama voters in settings that evoked the cultural and political divide that's come to define the two parties in modern America. Photographer: Nicole Craine/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Doug Jones, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate from Alabama, stands for a photograph with voters outside a polling location in Bessemer, Alabama, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. Jones and Republican Roy Moore made their election eve pitches to Alabama voters in settings that evoked the cultural and political divide that's come to define the two parties in modern America. Photographer: Nicole Craine/Bloomberg via Getty Images
BESSEMER, AL - DECEMBER 12: Democratic senatorial candidate Doug Jones takes a picture with voters outside of a polling station at the Bessemer Civic Center on December 12, 2017 in Bessemer, Alabama. Doug Jones is facing off against Republican Roy Moore in a special election for U.S. Senate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Democratic Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones walks to his vehicle along with his wife Louise at Brookwood Baptist Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
Democratic Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones speaks with the media after casting his vote at Brookwood Baptist Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
Democratic Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones arrives to vote at Brookwood Baptist Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
Democratic Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones speaks with the media after casting his vote at Brookwood Baptist Church in Mountain Brook, Alabama, U.S. December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
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