Panicked GOP leaders scrambling to get Jeff Sessions to run for Senate so they won't be saddled with Roy Moore
Alabama Republican senate nominee Roy Moore at a September campaign rally (screenshot)

According to a 2020 election analysis in the Washington Post, top Republican Senate leaders are cringing at the notion that former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore could be their nominee for the seat currently being held by Democrat Sen. Doug Jones -- and are looking for a way out.

As Amber Phillips notes, "By the end of the 2017 Alabama Senate race, Senate Republicans made clear they would rather have a Democrat with them in the Senate than Roy Moore, who was accused by more than half a dozen women of predatory behavior when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. And they got their wish."

But, as Phillips points out -- that was then and this is now and Moore will reportedly throw his hat in the ring with a scheduled Thursday announcement.

With Republican pollster Brent Buchanan explaining that more Alabama voters currently have an unfavorable opinion of Moore than like him, he also conceded that Moore has a very vocal fanbase that the Republicans will have to contend with and could garner 20 percent of the vote in a crowded GOP primary.

With that in mind, Republicans in the Beltway are urging former Sen. Jeff Sessions to run for his old seat in the hopes that they won't be faced with the highly controversial Moore on the 2020 ballot headed by Donald Trump in what is expected to be a high-turnout election.

"But if Sessions doesn’t get in and Moore wins this Senate race, the likeliest scenario is Moore remains the senator from Alabama," Phillips writes. "The Senate has a long-standing, unwritten rule that they don’t kick out someone for conduct known to the voters at the time that senator was elected, Cornell Law professor Josh Chafetz told me in 2017. The thinking behind that is to avoid a slippery slope where the Senate is overriding the will of the voters."

According to Phillips, the GOP this time around may have their hands tied -- particularly if they want to retain control of the Senate.

"The 2017 Alabama Senate special election underscored how unpredictable politics is in the Trump era, more than any other race since Trump’s own," she explained before predicting, "It tested the limits of party loyalty over morality in a society newly sensitive to sexual misconduct. If Moore gets back into the race, all of that could be re-litigated again. And there’s not much Washington Republicans can do about it."

You can read the whole piece here.