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Republican Steering Committee will meet to decide whether to support Moore

Roy Moore and his attorney and supporters walk out of the Supreme Court Chamber, in Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday October 27, 2016 before the lottery is held to pick the judges who will hear his appeal.

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Today, the Alabama Republican Steering Committee will meet to decide the fate of Roy Moore’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

Conservatives are urging the 21-member committee to announce that they are backing the Republican nominee, Roy Moore, despite allegations from multiple women, first reported by the Washington Post, that Moore acted inappropriately with them during the late 1970s.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the powerful Washington Republican establishment are urging the committee to de-certify Moore as the Alabama Republican Party candidate and to free Republican officeholders and candidates to support a write-in candidate that is more acceptable to Senate leaders and would be less divisive.

Tuesday, McConnell said, “Roy Moore should step aside. The women who have come forward are entirely credible. He is entirely unfit to serve in the United States Senate.”

Moore ran in the primary vowing that if he is elected to the Senate, he would not support McConnell to remain as Republican Majority Leader.

McConnell poured an estimated $30 million into the Alabama Republican primary to defeat Moore and Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, both who campaigned promising to vote to replace McConnell as Senate Majority Leader. McConnell’s chosen Senate candidate, Sen. Luther Strange, was defeated by Moore in the Republican primary runoff by nine and a half percentage points, even though Moore was outspent 12 to one by McConnell and Strange.

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McConnell has become increasingly unpopular with conservatives.  The Senate under his leadership has been unable to pass legislation to repeal Obamacare – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010; act to defund sanctuary cities; has not funded the Trump border wall; appears to be stalling on tax reform; and has not acted on President Donald Trump’s economic plan. His growing open hostility toward Moore has only strengthened the resolve of Moore’s most ardent supporters.

On Tuesday, the Republican National Committee withdrew all support for Moore in the coming Alabama special election. The Moore campaign is now having to rely on support from his vast network of small donors (some giving as little as $5 and some conservative groups for all of its financial needs.

National Republicans are concerned that Moore serving in the Senate under this cloud of suspicion could hurt the party with women and swing voters.

Conservatives are the core base of the Republican party on election days.  They however often feel slighted in how the Republican dominated government is actually run and are skeptical of claims that Moore in the Senate would weaken Republican efforts to protect and grow the Republican Senate majority in the 2018 elections.

One prominent Alabama conservative leader said on social media in response, “The RNC is the devil in this. They don’t want conservative values in D.C.”

Secretary of State John Merrill aid that if the Alabama Republican Party Steering Committee votes to de-certify Moore as the Republican candidate, and if Moore wins on December 12, the Secretary of State’s office would invalidate the election results and Gov. Kay Ivey would be free to set a new special election for U.S. Senate.

Conservative activists have told the Alabama Political Reporter that there will be an angry backlash against the steering committee and establishment candidates in the months going forward into the June 5 Republican primaries if ALGOP decertifies Moore or blesses a write-in campaign.

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Moore faces Doug Jones in the December 12, general election.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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