Senate Republicans appear to be preparing to mount a write-in campaign for Sen. Luther Strange which would be nothing more than a bid to keep Roy Moore out of the Senate by handing the seat to Democrat Doug Jones.
After Mitch McConnell told reporters, “We’re looking at whether or not there is not someone who can mount a write-in campaign successfully.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was even more direct:
I stand with the Majority Leader on this. These are serious and disturbing accusations, and while the decision is now in the hands of the people of Alabama, I believe Luther Strange is an excellent alternative. https://t.co/L7IallXhBc(Continued Below)
— Orrin Hatch (@OrrinHatch) November 13, 2017
From Hatch’s tweet, it is clear that the write-in candidate, they are looking at is Sen. Luther Strange.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) also jumped on the Moore has got to go bandwagon:
I have now read Mr. Moore’s statement and listened to his radio interview in which he denies the charges. I did not find his denials to be convincing and believe that he should withdraw from the Senate race in Alabama.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) November 13, 2017
If Republicans mount a write-in campaign, they are more likely to deny Roy Moore the Senate seat than they are to win it themselves. Senate Republicans may mount a write-in campaign that would help Democratic candidate Doug Jones become the next senator from Alabama. Republicans are gambling that they would be the heavy favorites to take back the seat when it is up again in 2020, so they seem willing to hand over the seat to Democrats if it keeps Roy Moore out of the Senate.
Democratic support is solidly behind their candidate Doug Jones. If Republican mount a write-in campaign, it will split the Republican vote and turn the seat blue. Senate Republicans look serious about trying to mount a write-in campaign, and if they do it, Doug Jones is likely to be the next Senator from Alabama.