What a difference a few days can make in the world of politics in 2017. Just weeks ago, as the allegations broke about Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and his proclivity of dating/harassing teenage girls while he was in his thirties, it seemed that the entire national Republican apparatus was ready to disown and dump him. That was, of course, except for the titular head of the Republican Party, who did not immediately pull his support for Moore. Instead, the President has now gone all-in, offering Moore his full backing. The Republican National Committee will also resume campaigning for Moore in Alabama this week as well.
First, the Washington Post, which has the story on the RNC resuming support for Moore:
President Trump led an aggressive charge Monday on behalf of embattled Senate nominee Roy Moore, with the Republican National Committee rejoining Moore’s side in Alabama weeks after cutting ties with him following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Before dawn, Trump took to Twitter to declare his strongest support yet for Moore. By day’s end, the RNC was back in his corner and America First Action, a pro-Trump group, said it would spend $1.1 million to try to push Moore across the finish line.
Senate Republican leaders, however, remained critical of Moore, warning that the former judge is likely to face an immediate ethics probe if he is elected next week.
The RNC is in a position where they can’t afford to alienate hardcore Trump voters, and since it seems that Moore isn’t going to withdraw himself from the race, they’ve decided to resume their support. The last thing they need is some bitter feelings from the MAGA world going into the 2018 midterms against well-funded Democratic opponents.
Meanwhile, the President is all-in, and even phoned Moore to offer his direct support and endorsement yesterday:
Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2017
The polls have recently started swinging back to Moore, albeit with a slight advantage:
According to recent findings from CBS News, Alabama Republicans seem to be returning to Moore and/or don’t believe the allegations:
A new CBS News poll finds 71 percent of Alabama Republicans say the allegations against Roy Moore are false, and those who believe this also overwhelmingly believe Democrats and the media are behind those allegations.
The poll found 92 percent of Republicans who don’t believe the allegations against Moore say the Democrats are behind the charges, and 88 percent say newspapers and the media are behind them.
Well, at least they’re telling the pollsters they don’t believe it. Whether they believe it privately is another matter. However, the partisan lines have become so sharp in this election that some Republican voters are willing to back Moore merely for the sake of hating on the media and Democrats. It looks like Trump may have rescued Moore at this point, and maybe turned the race back in his favor. Alabama should be a slam-dunk for anyone with an “R” next to their name, so the fact that Moore leads by only 2% on average means he’s still fighting a competitive race.
In the end, with Trump’s backing, and the RNC’s tepid blessing, Moore might just hold enough within the GOP to simply win by overwhelming numbers. There just aren’t enough Democrats to elect Doug Jones in Alabama unless a good portion of voters cross-over and abandon Moore. Thanks to Trump, it looks like that’s less likely to happen.
The vote is set for December 12, 2017.