GOP Mulls Drastic Plan to Save Senate Seat

Politico: “With less than four weeks until the special election and no sign that the party’s besieged nominee will exit the race, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his top advisers are discussing the legal feasibility of asking appointed Sen. Luther Strange to resign from his seat in order to trigger a new special election.”

”McConnell aides express caution, saying they’re uncertain whether such a move, one of several options being discussed, is even possible. Yet the talks underscore the despair among top Republicans over relinquishing a seat in deep-red Alabama, further diminishing their slim Senate majority.”

Rick Hasen: The latest GOP ploy likely violates the 17th Amendment

Trump Stays Silent on Roy Moore

“Senate Republicans turned to President Trump on Wednesday in hopes he would join their urgent attempt to force GOP nominee Roy Moore out of the Senate race in Alabama following allegations of sexual misconduct — but Trump did not oblige,” the Washington Post reports.

“Instead, back in Washington after a 12-day Asia trip, Trump was silent on Moore, who has been accused by two women of initiating unwanted sexual encounters when Moore was in his 30s and they were 14 and 16. Moore has denied the allegations.”

”In Alabama, Moore showed no signs he was preparing to bow out.”

Two More Women Say Moore Made Unwanted Overtures

Two addition women told the Washington Post of unwanted sexual advances made by Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) when they were teenagers and he was in his thirties.

“In all, The Post spoke to a dozen people who worked at the mall or hung out there as teenagers during the late ’70s and early ’80s and recall Moore as a frequent presence — a well-dressed man walking around alone, leaning on counters, spending enough time in the stores, especially on weekend nights, that some of the young women who worked there said they became uncomfortable.”

Tax Bill Faces Uncertainty in the Senate

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) may not be the only GOP senator to pull support from his party’s tax bill, the New York Times reports.

“Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee and John McCain of Arizona have voiced their own concerns and refused to say whether they would ultimately vote for the tax bill.”

“With the House expected to pass its tax legislation, the fate of the overhaul fell into the hands of Republican senators, who grappled with the dangerous political prospects of passing a bill that critics said could undermine the health care system and favored companies over the middle class.”

Washington Post: GOP tax plan in trouble in Senate.

GOP Strategists Say House Incumbents Aren’t Ready

“Republican strategists are warning that some of the party’s veteran House incumbents aren’t adequately preparing for the 2018 election, putting the GOP majority at risk by their failure to recognize the dangerous conditions facing them,” Politico reports.

“Nearly three dozen Republicans were outraised by their Democratic challengers in the most recent fundraising quarter. Others, the strategists say, are failing to maintain high profiles in their districts or modernize their campaigns by using data analytics in what is shaping up as a stormy election cycle.”

For members: An Unmistakable Midterm Wave Is Forming

Bannon Sticks with Roy Moore

Jonathan Swan: “There is ‘zero chance’ Steve Bannon will back down from his support of Roy Moore, according to one source close to Bannon. A second source says Bannon believes Moore’s denials which is why he’s sticking with him.”

“Bannon has been out of the country and silent on the Moore situation as it spun out of control and other Republicans called for him to drop out of the race. Bannon’s response, to triple-down on his support, will intensify his war with Republicans. As the source close to Bannon put it, Mitch McConnell should quit the Senate before Moore.”

Exchange of the Day

Kelly Harrison Thorp told the Birmingham News that when she was 17 years old and working as a hostess at the Red Lobster restaurant, Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) asked her if she’d go out with him sometime.

“I just kind of said, ‘Do you know how old I am?'” she recalled.

“And he said, ‘Yeah. I go out with girls your age all the time.'”

Kaine Calls for End of Superdelegates

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) is urging the DNC to end its tradition of using superdelegates, Politico reports.

Said Kaine: “I have long believed there should be no superdelegates. These positions are given undue influence in the popular nominating contest and make the process less democratic.”

“The plea from Kaine — himself a former DNC chairman, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, and a superdelegate — puts him on the side of many backers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary opponent in last year’s race for the White House.”

Nominee Says He Was Joking About ‘Right to Marry Bacon’

One of President Trump’s judicial nominees, Don Willett, said he was just kidding when he compared gay people’s constitutional right to marriage with a right to marry bacon, the Huffington Post reports.

“Willett, nominated for a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, told the Senate Judiciary Committee he wasn’t mocking same-sex marriage when he tweeted in April 2015 that he ‘could support recognizing a constitutional right to marry bacon’ ― a day after the Supreme Court heard arguments in the landmark marriage equality case.”

Roy Moore Now Trails By Double-Digits

A new NRSC poll finds Roy Moore (R) is trailing Doug Jones (D) by 12 points in the Alabama special Senate election.

In the aftermath five women accusing Moore of pursuing them as teenagers, Jones now leads the race 51% to 39%… In early October, a committee poll had him leading by 16 points, and a survey early this month had him up by 9 points.

Also interesting: “Several sources who reviewed the poll results said it also tested how Attorney General Jeff Sessions would fare as a write-in candidate, and the results were not favorable.”

Johnson Opposes GOP Senate Tax Package

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told the Wall Street Journal that the Republican tax plan benefits corporations more than any other kind of business, and for that reason he is opposed to the bill.

Said Johnson: “If they can pass it without me, let them. I’m not going to vote for this tax package.”

Axios: “Unless they get Democrats on board, Republicans can only afford to lose two GOP votes. This is one.”

Steele Believes Dossier Is 70% to 90% Accurate

“Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who compiled an explosive dossier of allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, believes it to 70% to 90% accurate, according to a new book on the covert Russian intervention in the 2016 US election,” the Guardian reports.

“The book, Collusion: How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win, by Guardian journalist Luke Harding, quotes Steele as telling friends that he believes his reports – based on sources cultivated over three decades of intelligence work – will be vindicated as the US special counsel investigation digs deeper into contacts between Trump, his associates and Moscow.”

Said Steele: “I’ve been dealing with this country for thirty years. Why would I invent this stuff?”