The Republican Party is not doing particularly well right now when it comes to approval.
Nearly 6 in 10 Americans — 59 percent — have an unfavorable view of the GOP in a recent CNN poll.
Part of that is due to President Trump and the Republican National Committee deciding to back Senate candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election earlier this month. This despite Moore having a long history of making controversial remarks about people of color, Muslims and the LGBT community, and claims by several women of sexual misconduct by him when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz) said Sunday on ABC that while he hopes Moore won’t be a permanent stain on the GOP, “it will be lasting.”
Following Moore’s defeat, some GOP politicians — including Trump — appeared eager to leave their party’s support for Moore in the past.
The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
But Moore won’t let them. He filed a lawsuit late Wednesday to stop Alabama officials from certifying Doug Jones as the winner of the Senate race. And the former Alabama chief justice wants a new election to be held. Moore alleges “election fraud,” saying high Democratic turnout in key areas was statistically unlikely.
Some who have followed the outspoken conservative’s more than 20 years in public life are not surprised. Quite a few Republicans opined that Moore was problematic — even an abomination to the GOP.
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” said: “I disagree with President Trump on a recent thing, Roy Moore. I think Roy Moore is an abomination to the Republican Party, and that’s one thing Republicans and Democrats agree on … the American people deserve better.”
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told CNN Thursday morning that the wait is over and that Jones will be certified the winner of the Alabama special Senate election despite Moore’s lawsuit. “Will this affect anything? The short answer to that is no,” he said.
“We will sign the documents certifying [Jones] as the senator for the state of Alabama,” Merrill said. “He will be sworn in by Vice President Pence on January 3 when the Senate returns.”
Moore, however, seems to think the American people deserve him. He refused to concede weeks ago when the race was called for Jones, who went on to beat Moore by more than 20,000 votes.
“We also know that God is always in control,” Moore said, citing a passage in Psalms 40, an Old Testament passage where the author praises God for saving him from a rough situation.
“That’s what we’ve got to do,” Moore finished, “is wait on God and let this process play out.”
Moore, obviously, wants this to play out longer, keeping his name in the headlines. But the longer his name and the Republican Party remain newsworthy, the longer it will take the GOP to extract itself from the association to a candidate that proved highly unpopular, even in deep-red Alabama.