Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) may want GOP nominee Roy Moore to lose a Senate race in Alabama, but that doesn't mean he wants the Democrat, Doug Jones, to prevail. With Moore's numbers sinking in internal Republican polls, Politico reports, McConnell and his advisers have run through a number of plans to keep the Alabama Senate seat in Republican hands.
McConnell's original favored plan — have Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who held the seat for two decades, enter the race as a write-in candidate — frayed as Sessions indicated that he wasn't interested and National Republican Senatorial Committee polling of the idea apparently pointed to negative outcomes. Another idea, pushing back the Dec. 12 election so Alabama Republicans would have time to remove Moore's name from the ballot, got a thumbs-down from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R), and was further diminished when the Alabama Republican Party agreed to continue supporting Moore's candidacy Wednesday night. McConnell's latest plan is one of several floated by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt:
McConnell and his team are "discussing the legal feasibility of asking appointed Sen. Luther Strange to resign from his seat in order to trigger a new special election," Politico says. "McConnell aides express caution, saying they're uncertain whether such a move ... is even possible." President Trump has not offered his opinion on the fate of Moore's candidacy, beset by allegations that he pursued, fondled, or assaulted several teenage girls when he was a deputy district attorney in his 30s. Trump backed Strange in the GOP primary, and he is hesitant to oppose Moore now while he still has support among state Republicans.