With the revelation that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl when he was 32, Republicans have been in a panic over potentially losing what has been considered a virtually guaranteed seat in the Senate and edging closer to losing their control over half of Congress.
With almost all Republican Senators renouncing their endorsements of Moore and calling for him to drop out of the race, speculation is rampant that the party’s leadership will resort to drastic measures to prevent losing any ground to Democrats. Having already reached unprecedented lows in ethical behavior with their theft of a Supreme Court seat that rightfully was President Obama’s to appoint, Republican leadership has been searching for any solution to rescue their chances in an election that they see rapidly slipping from their grasp.
One idea that’s been floated is a write-in campaign for Luther Strange, the Trump-backed loser of the Republican primary who was appointed to the Senate seat that Jeff Sessions vacated when he was appointed Attorney General. However, having two Republicans on the ballot could split the vote and wind up delivering the election to Moore’s Democratic opponent Doug Jones.
Another idea is designed to get around the problem with the fact that Alabama law requires that any changes to the ballot must be made at least 76 days ahead of the election, meaning that it is impossible for Moore to be removed from the ballot by the Alabama Republican party, since the election is only 4 weeks away.
Some desperate party leaders have suggested that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey change the election date to enable just such a move.
Governor Ivey squashed their hopes today with an announcement that she would refuse to make any changes in the election schedule, according to The New York Times.
“Governor Ivey is not considering and has no plans to move the special election for U.S. Senate,” a spokesman, Daniel Sparkman, said in an email. This week, Ms. Ivey said that the allegations were “deeply disturbing” and that “the people of Alabama deserve to know the truth and will make their own decisions.”
With this avenue for reviving their electoral goals now dashed, Republicans will have to rely on more traditional tools like voter suppression to try to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
If Roy Moore had only spent some time checking ID’s before engaging in illegal sexual behavior with minors, the Republicans in Alabama might not be in their current predicament.