Bombshell report on Roy Moore could reshape DC's political lands - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Bombshell report on Roy Moore could reshape DC's political landscape

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Written by Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann

WASHINGTON — On Thursday morning, we told you that the December 12 Alabama Senate race was something you should put on your calendar, especially after Democrats’ big wins earlier in the week. But we had no idea what was going to happen just hours later: The Washington Post reported that a woman said Republican nominee Roy Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 and he was 32.

The news could fundamentally transform the political situation in Washington. If Moore loses next month — and we stress the word “if” — then the GOP’s Senate majority goes from 52-48 to 51-49.

Why is that important? For one thing, it makes it much more realistic for Democrats to capture control of the U.S. Senate in 2018. Democrats would need to win Arizona and Nevada (two races where they have at least a 50-50 shot of victory) and hold on to all of their vulnerable seats. That’s a tall order, of course, but it’s much easier than having to put a Texas or Tennessee on the map to win Senate control. Bottom line: If there’s a wave in 2018, Democrats will have an easier shot of having to flip two Senate seats instead of three to win back the Senate.

In addition, a 51-49 GOP majority in the Senate could imperil the Republican tax plan. Senate Republicans are already having to walk a fine line in placating Sens. Rand Paul (who opposes the tax increases in the GOP plan), Bob Corker (who’s worried about increasing the deficit) and Susan Collins (who is against some of the tax cuts for the wealthy). A 52-48 majority means Senate Republicans can afford to lose two GOP votes, assuming all Democrats oppose the legislation. But with a 51-49 majority, Republicans can lose only one GOP senator.

Now you might say that there’s no way (or little way) that a Republican could lose in Alabama, a state Trump won by a whopping 28 points in 2016. But consider:

  • Before yesterday, Moore’s lead was just in the high single digits or low double digits, according to the polls. That isn’t a bulletproof lead;
  • Moore has been a controversial figure in Alabama for more than a decade;
  • Democratic opponent Doug Jones has owned the TV airwaves for an entire month, with ads like this: “I can work with Republicans better than Roy Moore can work with anyone”;
  • And the race is a one-on-one special election that takes place two weeks before Christmas, so it will be a low-turnout affair. There is no other race on the ballot.

This isn’t to say that it’s a slam dunk that Moore loses after yesterday. But we’re not sure enough people realize how dangerous the political situation is for the GOP.

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