Roy S. Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in the state of Alabama, was accused of sexual misconduct by five women.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday did not rule out trying to expel Roy Moore if the Alabama Republican wins a U.S. Senate seat in that state's special election next month.

“He’s obviously not fit to be in the United States Senate,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters on Tuesday. “And we’ve looked at all the options to try to prevent that from happening.”

McConnell and other Republicans in Washington are trying to push Moore to drop out of the Alabama Senate race in the wake of allegations that the controversial ex-judge pursued sexual relationships with four teenage girls when he was in his early 30s.

A fifth woman said on Monday that Moore assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old high school student working as a waitress at a restaurant that Moore, then a prosecutor, frequented.

A CNN poll showed that he is tied with the Democratic candidate.

If he's elected and not removed, would this hurt their base voters?

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    This is necessarily opinion-based. – J Doe Nov 15 '17 at 19:59
  • What part of this is opinionated? I asked whether the election of Moore would hurt the republican party. Please explain – LegendofLegends Nov 15 '17 at 21:29
  • @LegendofLegends - "would this hurt their base voters?" I believe the majority of the world is under the opinion that Republicans can openly fire their guns into crowds of their base voters and they would still vote republican. If you can reword this towards what would the republicans do (McConnell specific maybe?) or something around the political strategy involved, I think the question could be reopened. – Twelfth Nov 15 '17 at 21:43
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    "would" is the opinion part. We can't predict the future...only hypothesize and share opinions. – user1530 Nov 15 '17 at 22:24
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    Also, IMO, it's pretty vile to worry about how Moore's election might hurt Republicans over how it might encourage other abusers to hurt more children. It's not a good look. – J Doe Nov 15 '17 at 23:18

I think McConnell and the establishment wing of the party always felt like Moore would not be a great fit for what they want to do. He's a bit of a loose cannon, might chafe at following marching orders, and generally behaves like the kind of a caricature that liberals might draw to try and defame conservatives, which reflects poorly on the party when they want to court the ever-growing independent voting bloc. He also defeated the primary opponent they all wanted.

But, what to do? They're stuck with him, if the voters choose, right? Well, with these revelations, not so much. If these allegations are true, most people generally consider that to be behavior not meeting the standards of a public servant, so they would have an opening to expel him if they want. By advertising that he'd think Moore is unfit, and that they'd probably expel him, it sends a message to Alabama Republican voters (the strong majority in that state) who might find the accusations against Moore credible. That message is (not an actual quote, BTW)-

Don't elect the Democrat. We'll take care of Moore, so you can elect him, we'll throw him out, and the governor will be able to appoint a temporary replacement, then we can have another special election and elect another Republican (possibly even the original, Sessions, if he's done being the Attorneys General). If you stay at home or vote for Jones, then the Democrat will hold the seat until 2020.

It would have the added side benefit of the GOP being able to claim that they took the almost unheard of (for either party) step of putting aside partisan considerations to do what's right by expelling one of their own who just won an election. This would greatly enhance their reputation and standing with independent and younger voters, even if there were accusations of more cynical motives (which could easily be turned around on accusers, who would be painted as complaining that they did the right thing).

So, the GOP could get the kind of person they always wanted for that seat. They can push back on accusations that they are the kinds of misogynists who would not believe (without extraordinary proof) women who accuse powerful white men of abuse or harassment. They can claim the mantle of taking the most pro-woman actions possible for the situation. And because of these side issues, people are going to help, not oppose them, in getting their more favored (by the party and leadership) person into that seat.

If he's elected, and they act to remove and replace him, it could wind up being a huge boon for the party. Given that set of circumstances and all the advantages, I think it would be highly unlikely that the GOP would not remove him, which is why I didn't directly address the last sentence of your question as much as deal with how they can use the situation to their advantage.

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  • Would there be any difference between impacts on the national party versus the Alabama Republican Party? – Jeff Lambert Nov 15 '17 at 21:31
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    @JeffLambert - since some of the feedback from Alabama party officials at the more local level was, yes, they'd vote for a proven child molester rather than a Democrat, I don't think there's an impact, either way. Some anti-establishment people might view it as caving in, but I think the digging in is more not wanting the Democrats or liberals to win the seat or claim any moral victories. – PoloHoleSet Nov 15 '17 at 22:02

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