Evangelicals Love Roy Moore Even More Following Abuse Allegations

David Atkins:

Yesterday I wrote that Roy Moore’s behavior was in keeping with hardcore conservative evangelical culture of sanctioned patriarchal sexual abuse. I have also stated that the release of the Access Hollywood tape almost certainly actually helped Trump with some evangelicals because, despite being a philandering adulterer, Trump established a more fundamental cultural rapport with their moral value system….These are admittedly controversial positions. But they’re also hard to refute after today’s polling shows that 37% of Alabama evangelicals are actually more likely to vote for Roy Moore after hearing the allegations against him, and 34 percent said it would make no difference.

FWIW, I think there’s a pretty good alternate explanation: 37 percent of Alabama evangelicals think the allegations are an obviously fake political attack designed to smear a conservative candidate. The fact that liberals are scared enough of Moore to mount an attack like this just shows how effective he is—and thus even more worth supporting.

It’s worth keeping in mind that vanishingly few Alabama evangelicals have read the Washington Post story. They’ve seen summaries in their local newspaper. They’ve seen Fox News coverage emphasizing that it all happened 40 years ago and was “just dating” of 17-year-olds. They’ve heard from local Republican leaders that it’s all an invention. They’ve listened to talk radio that’s dismissed the whole thing as a liberal hoax. And they’re primed to believe all this because they really don’t want to vote for the Democratic fellow anyway.

Just my two cents. The patriarchal culture of evangelicals may play a role too, but I suspect that distrust of liberals and the liberal media probably plays a much bigger one.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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