2017 Campaign

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.”

Democrats Win Back Albuquerque In a Blowout

“Democrats wrested control of New Mexico’s largest city from the GOP on Tuesday as New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller (D) easily won a race to become Albuquerque’s next mayor,” CBS News reports.

Keller beat Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis (R) with 62% to 38% “in a race that centered on the city’s raising crime rates and its struggling economy.”

Hannity Gives Roy Moore 24 Hours

Fox News host Sean Hannity walked back his original remarks insinuating that the five women accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) of sexual assault when they were teenagers might be lying, Politico reports.

Said Hannity: “For me, the judge has 24 hours. You must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies that I just showed.”

New Poll Gives Moore a Lead In Alabama

A new FOX10 News/Strategy Research poll in Alabama conducted just yesterday finds Roy Moore (R) leading Doug Jones (D) in the U.S. Senate race. 49% to 43% with 8% undecided.

Key finding: “Of those who indicated they would vote in the December 12 election, Moore lost 3 percentage points from the poll two weeks ago while Jones showed a 2 percent increase in support. Undecided voters went from 7 percent to 8 percent.”

RNC Abandons Roy Moore

“The Republican National Committee is withdrawing its support for besieged Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, leaving him increasingly isolated as he confronts charges of sexual misconduct with teenagers,” Politico reports.

“Even before allegations surfaced against Moore, the committee believed he was in trouble. Internal RNC polling conducted around a week ago showed him leading his Democratic opponent by just two percentage points.”

Robocall Seeks Damaging Information on Roy Moore

At least one person in WKRG-TV‘s viewing area received a robocall seeking more damaging information about Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (R).

Here is the text of that voicemail message:

Hi, this is Bernie Bernstein, I’m a reporter for the Washington Post calling to find out if anyone at this address is a female between the ages of 54 to 57 years old willing to make damaging remarks about candidate Roy Moore for a reward of between $5000 and $7000 dollars. We will not be fully investigating these claims however we will make a written report. I can be reached by email at albernstein@washingtonpost.com, thank you.

The Washington Post issued a statement: “The Post has just learned that at least one person in Alabama has received a call from someone falsely claiming to be from The Washington Post. The call’s description of our reporting methods bears no relationship to reality. We are shocked and appalled that anyone would stoop to this level to discredit real journalism.”

McConnell Steps Up Pressure to Force Moore Out

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “deepened his bid to persuade Roy Moore to drop out of the race for an open Alabama Senate seat after accusations the Republican candidate engaged in sexual misconduct with teenage girls,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

McConnell “suggested he wanted Attorney General Jeff Sessions to run as a write-in candidate instead for his old seat, and he said that if Alabama voters elect Mr. Moore in the Dec. 12 vote, he would immediately face an ethics investigation.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Beast reports Steve Bannon “is keeping the door open to ditching” Moore.

What Would Democrats Do?

Jonathan Chait: “The Republican Establishment is trying to maneuver out of the binary choice of electing Roy Moore or putting their control of the upper chamber at risk by exploring exotic schemes, like voting to deny Moore a seat if he wins and replacing him with another appointed Republican. But if their machinations fail, they’ll be faced with a stark choice.”

“It’s easy to feel superior about this when opposition to grotesque treatment of teenage girls lines up neatly with your own party’s well-being. If you’re a liberal, ask yourself what you would do if the circumstances were reversed. Give the other party a Senate seat and a possible majority, and forfeit your control of staffing the Cabinet, appointing judges, and passing laws you consider vital for the country’s future? Or allow one of the votes for those things to be cast by a sexual predator?”

Sessions Not Interested In Returning to Senate

Attorney general Jeff Sessions “has told political allies in Alabama that he is not considering running for his old Senate seat as a write-in candidate in next month’s special election,” the Weekly Standard reports.

“That’s according to a spokeswoman for Sessions at the Department of Justice, Sarah Isgur Flores, who also tells me that Sessions is telling Alabama Republicans he is not considering being appointed to the seat if Roy Moore wins and is either not seated by or is expelled from the Senate.”

Jones Hits Moore Over ‘Awful’ Allegations

Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones (D) is running a television ad about the allegations swirling around challenger Roy Moore (R).

The ad uses Republican voters to explain why they can’t vote with their party in next month’s election: “You read the story and it just shakes you. Just awful.”

David Weigel: “At no point does the ad get into the particulars of the scandal, which have included graphic descriptions of a 32-year old Moore, at the start of a long legal career in Alabama, initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old and dating other teens. It’s a more careful approach than the one Democrats used in 2015, the last time the party won an upset victory in the Deep South, when now-Gov. Jon Bel Edwards loudly reminded voters of his opponent’s prostitution scandal.”

Brooks Will Stick with Roy Moore

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) told the Birmingham News that he is sticking with Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations, arguing that the conservative agenda is “vastly more important” than the claims against Moore.

Said Brooks: “Who will vote in America’s best interests on Supreme Court justices, deficit and debt, economic growth, border security, national defense, and the like?  Socialist Democrat Doug Jones will vote wrong.  Roy Moore will vote right.  Hence, I will vote for Roy Moore.”

He added: “I do believe this, there are millions of people in America who would lie in a heartbeat if it meant adding another Democrat to the Senate.”

McConnell Sees Sessions as Replacement for Moore

New York Times: “Publicly, Mr. McConnell, appearing at a news conference in Louisville, said he was ‘looking at’ drafting a write-in candidate for the Dec. 12 special election. Privately, Mr. McConnell was doing more than merely looking. One idea being discussed, first brought up by two different White House officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, would be for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to run as either a write-in candidate or to be appointed to what was his seat should Mr. Moore win and be immediately removed from office.”

“Mr. McConnell is supportive of the idea and discussed it on Monday in a telephone call with Vice President Mike Pence that was chiefly about the Republican tax overhaul proposal… Mr. Sessions remains popular among Alabama Republicans, but his relationship with Mr. Trump has frayed since he recused himself from the investigation of the role that Russia played in last year’s presidential campaign.”

Is Expelling Moore, If Elected, a Viable Plan?

Playbook: “Expulsion takes a while. It’s tricky. The Senate hasn’t expelled a member in more than a century. But is there an argument to be made that Republicans would be better off electing Moore, expelling him and getting Alabama’s Republican governor to appoint another GOP senator? That way two Republicans don’t split the vote. And Republicans get to actually take action to expel someone whose behavior they say they find abhorrent.”

“If the Senate has to expel Moore, it could tear the party apart even further and embolden Steve Bannon in his war against incumbents. And it could look like the Senate is subverting the will of the voters.”

“By the way, remember: November was supposed to be all about tax reform. Republicans don’t want to be talking about whether their Senate candidate in Alabama had an unusual interest in high school girls.”