Republican leaders are exploring a dramatic remedy to salvage the Alabama Senate seat as fresh polling shows Roy Moore’s prospects fading fast. With less than four weeks until the special election and no sign that the party’s besieged nominee will exit the race, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his top advisers are discussing the legal feasibility of asking appointed Sen. Luther Strange to resign from his seat in order to trigger a new special election.
McConnell aides express caution, saying they’re uncertain whether such a move, one of several options being discussed, is even possible. Yet the talks underscore the despair among top Republicans over relinquishing a seat in deep-red Alabama, further diminishing their slim Senate majority.
McConnell’s team had been high on the idea of asking Jeff Sessions, who held the Alabama seat for two decades prior to becoming Attorney General, to run as a write-in candidate. But the committee polled the prospect of Sessions waging a write-in bid and the outcome was unfavorable, said three people familiar with the results. Party officials worry that a write-in candidacy would serve only to split the Republican vote and seal a Jones victory.