National Review issued a damning ruling against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore on Friday, calling allegations of his sexual impropriety with teenagers "credible" and demanding he "drop out." The Washington Post reported Thursday that Moore allegedly pursued relationships with women between the ages of 16 and 18 and initiated sexual contact with a 14-year-old when he was in his early 30s.
"The statute of limitations on Moore's alleged sexual misconduct long ago expired, but there is no such thing as a statute of limitations on standards," National Review writes. "Roy Moore is not a worthy standard-bearer for the Republican Party, and his vulnerabilities are now endangering what should be a completely safe Senate seat."
The allegations against Stephen Bannon-backed Moore have divided conservatives, with the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling for the former state judge to drop out of the race if the claims are true. Breitbart News, on the other hand, has called the Post article a political hit job and the Alabama state auditor quoted the Bible to defend Moore in the face of the misconduct reports.
Prior to the reports, Moore had been expected to beat his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, in the special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in December. Polls showed Moore ahead of Jones by an average of 48 percent to 42 percent. Still, as Ryan Cooper writes at The Week, the allegations might be the final nail in Moore's political coffin, and National Review's condemnation of the candidate may fuel that possibility. Read the publication's full note here.