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In Alabama, Democrat Jones far ahead in Senate money race

Democrat Doug Jones is crushing Republican Roy Moore in fundraising ahead of their upcoming special U.S. Senate election in Alabama, keeping alive his party's hope for an upset over a GOP rival stung by sexual misconduct accusations.

Posted: Dec. 1, 2017 4:28 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Democrat Doug Jones is crushing Republican Roy Moore in fundraising ahead of their upcoming special U.S. Senate election in Alabama, keeping alive his party's hope for an upset over a GOP rival stung by sexual misconduct accusations.

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The winner of the Dec. 12 contest in the deeply conservative state will take the seat held previously by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. No Democrat has won a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992.

Campaign finance reports filed this week show Jones, a former federal prosecutor, raised $9.9 million from Oct. 1 to Nov. 22, to $1.7 million for Moore, the former jurist twice removed from his post as state Supreme Court chief justice.

For the entire campaign, Jones has now outraised Moore $11.4 million to $4.2 million. Jones reported $8.9 million in spending, more than double Moore's $3.6 million outlay.

Many national Republicans have abandoned Moore after multiple women accused him of inappropriate sexual conduct when they were as young as 14. Moore has generically denied the charges, first reported by the Washington Post, and polls suggest that many Alabama voters haven't been moved by the allegations.

Jones, meanwhile, cruised to the Democratic nomination with a low-profile campaign. But he has since used his cash advantage to build a statewide campaign and dominate Moore on television airwaves.

Even before Moore's accusers emerged, the erstwhile judge was not in favor with establishment Republicans in Washington. GOP forces, with the blessing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, spent millions against Moore during the Republican primary campaign. Moore nonetheless defeated the appointed incumbent, Luther Strange.

Moore counterpunched sharply, echoing President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign by lumping together traditional Republican leaders, the Democratic Party and "the liberal media" as an elite cabal he's trying to topple.

That leaves Moore the favorite, even as he almost certainly will underperform the usual Republican benchmarks in a state Trump won by nearly 28 percentage points.

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