Though he says he has absolutely no plans of dropping out of the race to succeed Jeff Sessions as Senator from Alabama, GOP candidate Roy Moore is facing increasingly long odds of winning the special election, or, if he does manage to win, ever being seated in the United States Senate.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he believed the women who have accused Moore of molesting or attempting to rape them, and on Tuesday another powerful Republican joined the chorus against the former judge.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan declared that he finds the allegations of the five women who have spoken out against Moore to be believable, adding:
“He should step aside. Number one, these allegations are credible. Number two, if he cares about the values that he claims to care about, then he should step aside.”
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake said Monday that if he were faced with a choice between Moore and a Democratic candidate, he had no doubt what he would do:
“If this choice is between Roy Moore and a Democrat, a Democrat. I would literally — if I were in Alabama — I would run to the polling place to vote for the Democrat.”
Republicans are in an increasingly difficult bind. If they vocally speak out and urge voters to support Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, they risk losing a once reliably GOP seat in the Senate. But if they refuse to act and defeat Moore, they could be faced with the prospect of having to hold hearings and then expel Moore from the upper chamber of Congress if he wins the election in December.
Even the man he wants to replace, Jeff Sessions, said when he testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that he had “no reason to doubt” the women who have accused Moore of assaulting them. Asked if the Justice Department would look into the matter, Sessions replied:
“This kind of case would normally be a state case.”