Despite multiple women accusing Republican Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, Moore’s Alabama colleagues in the House of Representatives, Bradley Byrne, Trinity ‘77, and Mo Brooks, Trinity ‘75, are standing by him.

Since the Washington Post’s original reporting, at least eight women have come forward alleging Moore of sexual misconduct, including one woman who alleged that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 14 years old. Earlier this month, Byrne told reporters that he was still voting for Moore, saying “I don’t vote for Democrats.” Brooks cited similar reasons for sticking by Moore, but also added doubt to the accounts of the women, referring to the Duke Lacrosse case as an example of how the media can spin false narratives.

"As a Duke grad, I vividly remember the false accusations against and defamation of the Duke lacrosse team,” Brooks told “The players were horribly treated by the news media until the truth finally came out and totally exonerated them.”

Brooks has also questioned the ethics of Moore’s alleged actions, saying that only two of the women’s accounts describe something illegal. He has additionally cast doubt on statements made by Beverly Young Nelson, who alleged that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager 16 years old, presenting a yearbook signed by Moore. Moore’s campaign has since asked to see the yearbook and get it tested by an independent expert, but Nelson’s lawyer refused the request.

"The accuser has suppressed the evidence—i.e. examination of the yearbook—which is normally what someone would do if they are lying," Brooks said. "It is not consistent with what someone does if they are telling the truth."

Other Republicans, however, don’t believe that the accusations are false. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan have told reporters that they believe the women who accused Moore of sexual harassment, telling him to drop out. 

Duke alumni in the Senate have had different reactions to the allegations. Although Senator Rand Paul, M.D. '88, who endorsed Moore in October, has not commented on the reports, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Trinity ‘75, has made a more definitive response.

“If the allegations reported in The Washington Post are true, Roy Moore should immediately step aside,” she told reporters.

Despite the allegations, Moore still leads his opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, by more than two points, according to polling aggregation site RealClearPolitics. The special election is Dec. 12. 

Speaking on campus Monday, Reince Priebus, former chief of staff to President Trump, said he anticipated Moore would win. 

"I think too much time has passed between the accusations and the election," he said. 

Sophomore Greta Chen and senior Lisa Guraya, who are both from Alabama, discussed several reasons for Moore’s popularity in the state. 

Guraya pointed to the power of state legislators—many of whom have maintained support of Moore—to influence public opinion in Alabama. Both Chen and Guraya added that part of Moore’s appeal is that he makes Alabamians feel represented, something that Guraya noted cannot be said about the Washington Post and national media outlets.

“Republicans in the state know that Moore is stubborn in his conservative values—even with his removal from the bench and a separate suspension, he is a favorite because he adheres to traditional ideas, making many residents in Alabama feel like they are still represented in this era of social justice,” Chen wrote in an email.

Regarding the allegations, Chen added that some people don’t believe the women because they don’t want to.

“People view the women who made the accusations as victims seeking attention because that is what they want to believe,” she wrote. “They don't want to believe that the candidate they're supporting is capable of such things."