Wall Street Journal: GOP victory in Alabama may be more costly than defeat

Wall Street Journal: GOP victory in Alabama may be more costly than defeat
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The Wall Street Journal is warning in a new editorial that a victory by GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race could be "more costly than a defeat."

The Journal's editorial board writes that "Republicans have an unusual political problem in Alabama."

"Their candidate may win," the editorial says.


Moore is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. A woman accused him of initiating a sexual encounter with her in 1979 when she was 14 and he was 32. Other women have come forward to allege Moore pursued relationships with them or touched them inappropriately when they were teenagers.

The Journal's editorial board wrote that it finds "evidence and the testimony of the other women persuasive" even if it is "generally skeptical about trial by newspaper."

"But this is an election, not a trial, and voters have to make decisions in these imperfect circumstances," the editorial says.

The editorial says Alabama voters should consider that there are "strong moral and practical reasons" to reject Moore.

The editorial board said the slim GOP Senate majority explains the "unfortunate decision" by President Trump earlier this week to endorse Moore.

"But victory would come at considerable cost," the editorial says.

"The Senate would be obliged to seat him, and the allegations would surely be referred immediately to the Ethics Committee, which is already vetting the sexual misconduct of Minnesota Democrat Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenKirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run Gillibrand says staffer allegations did not 'rise to the level of sexual harassment' Female Gillibrand aide resigned over handling of her sexual harassment complaint: report MORE."

It warns that if Moore becomes a senator, the media will "hang him around the neck of every Republican candidate as Democrats try to drive turnout among women and dispirit GOP voters."

The editorial board said it understands the "fix" Alabamians are in.

"Especially with a Democratic candidate who better fits California than what may be the country’s most conservative state. This is an example of how the country could benefit if Democrats still had an anti-abortion or moderate wing," it says.

"But no election is forever, and the winner next week will have to run again in 2020 for a full six-year term. Alabama Republicans would get another chance at Mr. Jones, but if they elect Mr. Moore they might be stuck with him for a very long time."

After the allegations surfaced last month, multiple Republicans called for Moore to step aside in the race. Trump earlier this week called Moore to endorse him in the election, which is scheduled to be held next week. The Republican National Committee also reinstated its support for the candidate after initially cutting ties.