The Republicans - and the president - still support Moore despite sexual misconduct allegations
By Daniel J. McLaughlin
Donald Trump's endorsement of candidates has not proven particularly successful over the course of his presidency. The president gave his seal of approval to Luther Strange, who ran against Roy Moore, in the Republican primary for the Alabama senate race. Strange lost.
And then Trump decided to back Moore, the former Supreme Court justice for Alabama, known for his staunch conservative views and eccentric behaviour - turning up to vote on horseback. He has said in the past that "homosexual conduct should be illegal" and equated it to bestiality. His other behaviour, allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, as well as with adult women, could result in yet another loser for the president.
Or perhaps not. Despite more and more women coming forward with their stories, 71 per cent of Alabama Republicans do not believe the claims against the GOP candidate. The Republicans in the area blamed the Democrats (92 per cent) and the media (88 per cent) for the allegations that they deem "false".
Moore is ahead of his Democrat opponent Doug Jones in a CBS News/YouGov poll, with 49 per cent of Alabamans favouring the Republican - compared to the 43 support for Jones.
The president has now officially endorsed Moore. Trump called the embattled GOP candidate, and "discussed the state of the Alabama Senate race and the president endorsed Judge Moore's campaign", according to the White House. The president reportedly told the former Supreme Court justice to "Go get 'em, Roy!".
Trump later tweeted: "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!"
The Republic National Convention (RNC) have also resumed their support for Moore. Following the reporting of the allegations against Moore, the RNC dropped out of a joint fundraising agreement, NBC News reports. An RNC official confirmed their backing, saying they stand with the president.
CNN's Chris Cillizza notes that establishment Republicans have, within the space of weeks, gone from believing the allegations against Moore, and arguing he does not represent the GOP, to attacking them as decades old. Why? "In short: He looks like a winner now," Cillizza writes, "so Republicans are finding ways to justify his behaviour."
The special election in Alabama, to fill a vacancy in the Senate following Jeff Sessions' resignation to serve as Attorney General, will take place on Tuesday, December 12. Alabamans will decide on whether Roy Moore (Republican) or Doug Jones (Democrat) will be their new senator.