(National Sentinel) Special Election: A focus group consisting of Alabama registered voters unanimously voiced support for GOP Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore, stunning pollster Frank Luntz at a Vice News-sponsored event in Montgomery Saturday night.
A clearly stunned Luntz was questioning the group about allegations of several instances of inappropriate sexual behavior directed at a number of teenaged girls — one as young as 14 — when Moore was an adult in his early 30s four decades ago.
To a person, the voters all backed Moore, with most saying they have difficulty believing the women since their claims of inappropriate sexual behavior in the late 1970s only surfaced in recent weeks as he faced certain victory as a rock-solid conservative.
“Are you all Christians here?” Luntz opens the seven-and-a-half-minute long segment. “Yes,” all of the focus group participants, who joined Luntz in a Birmingham area restaurant, replied.
“Is Roy Moore a good Christian?” Luntz asked.
“Yes,” one woman replied. “Absolutely,” said another.
“Absolutely?” Luntz followed up in disbelief.
“Yes,” the woman answered immediately.
“Without any doubt whatsoever?” Luntz asked again, to universal agreement.
“He’s not my choice, I’m not voting for him because I like him,” said real estate developer Scottie Porter.
“I’m voting for him because I don’t want Doug Jones,” he continued, talking about Moore’s liberal Democratic candidate. “But Roy Moore is entitled to the presumption of innocence in the law and in the Bible just like anybody else should be. There are only accusations. There have been no charges filed. All you have is a group of women who have come forward.”
“How many? How many?” Luntz pressed Porter.
“Seven,” he replied.
“There’s really only three,” one woman yelled out.
Luntz asked at what point to all of the allegations lead someone to believe the women rather than Moore.
“It’s about the legitimacy, not just how many. How many are not being paid? Or being coerced to do this?” said retired sales consultant Chuck Moore, who is not related to the judge.
The pollster then asked how many in the group believe the women are being paid, and all raised their hands.
“Seriously?” Luntz asked in disbelief, before the camera turned to homemaker Jane Wade.
“To me, there are only two women that have a smoking gun but the women’s—their reputations are questionable at the time,” Wade said.
“Is this how you want to be treated as a woman if something were to happen to you? Do you want to be dismissed that way?” Luntz asked Gina Doran, a retired school bus driver.
“You better have proof,” Doran fired back at Luntz.
Luntz then brought up the age of Moore’s youngest accuser, who claimed she was 14 at the time. “Do you blame her?” he asked.
“I’m not blaming her,” Wade replied. “I’m blaming both of them. I didn’t say I thought he was without sin. It’s possible that he did it. But it’s possible that he could be forgiven for—I don’t think he raped her. I don’t think he—“
Porter interrupted: “Let’s be real. It was a different world. Forty years ago in Alabama, people could get married at 13 and 14 years old.”
“Yeah,” Wade said.
Others in the group noted that some of their grandparents and parents were married at a very young age, and that in Alabama especially, it wasn’t that long ago when such marriages were not at all considered wrong. The same held true for dating, the added.
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