World

Democrats may pull off an upset in Alabama Senate race

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA Voters in Alabama were headed to the polls yesterday in a hard-fought US Senate race in which President Donald Trump has endorsed fellow Republican Roy Moore, whose campaign has been clouded by allegations of sexual misconduct towards teenagers.

Mr Moore, 70, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, is battling Democrat Doug Jones, 63, a former US attorney who is hoping to pull off an upset victory in the deeply conservative southern state.

The Alabama contest has divided the Republican Party.

Mr Trump has strongly backed Mr Moore, but several other Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have distanced themselves from the candidate.

Mr Moore has been accused by multiple women of pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, including one woman who said he tried to initiate sexual contact with her when she was 14.

He has denied any misconduct.

Reuters has not independently verified any of the accusations.

On the eve of the election, Mr Moore was joined on the campaign trail by Mr Steve Bannon, Mr Trump's former chief strategist and an executive at the right-wing Breitbart News site.

Mr Bannon framed the Alabama election as a showdown between establishment elites and populist power and excoriated Republicans who declined to support Mr Moore.

"There's a special place in hell for Republicans who should know better," Mr Bannon said.- REUTERS

WORLD