Alleged child molester Roy Moore is currently the Republican field for the party’s Senate nomination, which would open the door to Sen. Doug Jones (D) winning reelection.
The latest Mason-Dixon poll of the Alabama Republican Senate primary found:
But Jones’s re-election chances will be affected by who he draws as his Republican challenger in 2020. Currently, Roy Moore – who Jones defeated in 2017 – is the top choice of GOP voters. Statewide, 27% of Republicans support Moore as the nominee, ahead of three current Congressmen – Mo Brooks at 18%, Bradley Byrne at 13% and Gary Palmer at 11%. DelMarsh (4%) and Tim James (2%) trial the field and a significant 25% are undecided.
Moore could finish first in the GOP primary, but will likely have a much more difficult time winning a run-off. His current lead is largely a result of his name recognition advantage over others in the field, standing at about 20-points over Brooks, 40-points over Byrne and 50-points over Palmer. Those cushions will evaporate once the campaign begins in earnest.
None of the top three Republicans who are running against Moore are well known, but a Moore nomination would immensely help the reelection odds for Sen. Doug Jones, who has a 40% approval rating to Moore’s 34%. Jones also has more voters saying he has done a positive job (45%) than say that he has done a negative job (44%).
If Sen. Jones were to rematch with Roy Moore, he would be favored to win. Republicans in the poll have convinced themselves that the allegations against Moore were cooked up by Democrats, so even though it is very early, it is possible that Moore emerges from the primary with the Republican Senate nomination.
Should Moore look like he has a serious chance of becoming the nominee, don’t be surprised if Republicans try to draft former senator and Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions to take back his old seat, and stop Moore.
A Moore nomination would only make it easier for Democrats to take back the Senate in 2020.
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