The Alabama GOP Steering Committee met for approximately 3 hours on Wednesday evening. Terry Lathan, Alabama GOP Chairman, released the following statement:
“On Wednesday evening, the Alabama Republican Party Steering Committee met to discuss the events and circumstances regarding the Dec. 12 U.S. Senate race. The Committee supports our candidate. Judge Moore has vehemently denied the allegations made against him. He deserves to be presumed innocent of the accusations unless proven otherwise. There is a sharp policy contrast between Judge Moore, a conservative Republican who supports President Trump, and the liberal Democrat who will fight and thwart the agenda of our president. Alabamians will be the ultimate jury in this election, not the media or those from afar.”
The Steering Committee had the power to officially request that Moore be removed as the Party’s candidate for the U.S. Senate. That move would not have removed Moore’s name from the ballot and no substitution would be allowed. It would have nullified the election if Moore won the race, resulting in a rescheduling of the election, most likely during the 2018 mid-term elections. Absent some additional significant development in the case, the Steering Committee is not expected to reverse this decision.
With Moore declining to leave the race, denying the most serious charges, and vowing to continue, Alabama voters will have a chance to decide between Moore, Jones and other, with either Moore or Jones becoming the next U.S. Senator.
In other news, a new Fox News poll released today, has Jones holding an 8% lead over Roy Moore, 50% – 42%, with 9% preferring other or undecided. Alabamians are evenly split with 38% thinking the allegations are true and 37% believing they are not. As expected, Jones has a massive edge among women voters (+26%), especially those under 45 (+49%). A majority of Alabamians believe that Moore should stay in the race, 54% – 38%.
For those thinking there is a path with Luther Strange, his favorable numbers are underwater by 17 points (37-54). Strange trails Jones in a hypothetical matchup by 10 points, which is worse than Moore, even after the recent allegations. Only 39% of Republicans say they would likely vote for Strange if he ran as a write-in verses 59% that say they would be unlikely to support him.
Moore’s favorable numbers are underwater by 7 points (43-50). Jeff Sessions is 51-40 to the good. Trump is 52-47. Trump won Alabama by 28%. That margin seems a little low compared to some other polling, but not massively off.