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Why evangelicals are again backing a Republican despite allegations of sexual misconduct

Faith leaders and supporters joined Roy Moore and his wife, Kayla, at a news conference last week in Birmingham, Ala. –Drew Angerer/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Allegations that Roy Moore sexually assaulted teenage girls decades ago have turned many Republicans against their party’s Senate candidate in Alabama, but one bloc of conservative leaders is standing by their man: evangelicals.

It is the latest example of a shift in attitude among Christian conservatives, who polls show are increasingly willing to overlook sexual misbehavior if a political leader is firmly committed to opposing abortion, gay marriage, and transgender rights.

In today’s hyperpartisan environment, ideology trumps personal transgressions for these religious leaders, who years ago called on President Clinton to resign over his liaisons with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

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