The situation for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore got even worse Monday, when another woman came forward to make a serious accusation that he sexually assaulted her in a car decades ago when she was 16. Moore’s attorney denounced the claim as a witch hunt brought forward by notorious feminist activist lawyer Gloria Allred, and Moore is threatening a defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post over the original report.
It’s hard for the public to know what to make of this sudden volley of charges that seem totally out of character. If true, then they are definitely disqualifying and Moore should bow out of the race immediately. But the timing is so convenient for Democratic hopes of retaking the Senate that some supporters who would normally be inclined to believe the accusers are hesitant. Many have known Moore as a staunch defender of conservative Christian values for decades and just don’t buy the charges. Some are suspicious because they’ve seen similar charges leveled at other Republicans, such as Herman Cain, just as they were rising in the polls. One new poll found that the charges have made 37% of Alabama Evangelicals more likely to vote for Moore because they think it’s an unfair smear campaign, with 28% less likely to vote for him, and 34% saying it makes no difference.
Meanwhile, a number of prominent Republicans have called on Moore to drop out, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who says he believes the women. But Moore has called on McConnell to step aside, and McConnell spent a lot of GOP money trying to defeat Moore in the primary, so neither is inclined to take advice from the other.
One thing that’s fairly certain is that voters will likely not know who is telling the truth by the time the vote comes next month. They should be thinking of who will best represent their state’s interests in Washington. Instead, they’re now being asked, with no hard evidence, to base their vote on whether Roy Moore was, at one time at least, a cradle-robbing sexual predator or if he’s the innocent victim of a dirty political hit job. The latest serious charge has upped the ante, and Moore’s Sean Hannity interview didn’t help his case, even with some who were initially willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Republicans who are considering launching a write-in campaign for incumbent Luther Strange, who was endorsed by Trump and defeated by Moore in the primary, have to consider that if Moore doesn’t drop out, that will split the GOP vote and hand a solidly red state Senate seat to the Democrats. Even if Roy Moore’s denials are true, it's time for him to think hard about which is more important to him: defending himself and risking a loss or insuring that Alabama’s Senate seat doesn’t become one more weapon in the arsenal used by Chuck Schumer to advance a liberal agenda that represents everything he has long fought against.
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