Former Alabama Judge Roy Moore is mulling a do-over after narrowly losing a special election Senate bid in 2017, saying this week that he is "strongly considering" a second run in 2020 despite opposition from his own party.
The conservative's last campaign was marred by decades-old sexual harassment claims, which caused several of his fellow Republicans to withdraw their support of the candidate. Ultimately, Democrat Doug Jones won the election by a slim margin, taking the seat back from Republicans who had held it for more than two decades — a major victory in deep red Alabama.
The GOP doesn't want that to happen again. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee told the Associated Press this week, "The people of Alabama rejected Roy Moore not too long ago. I, with my Republican colleagues, always want to be supportive of the most conservative candidate who can actually win a race, and I don't see that anything has changed in the state of Alabama since the last election."
While that may be true, one of the things that hasn't changed is Moore's status as GOP front-runner. A Mason-Dixon poll from last month showed Moore ahead of all other prospective Republican candidates by a hefty amount, topping second place prospect Rep. Mo Brooks by 9 points.
However, that poll did not include former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who threw his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination in April.
Regardless, the 72-year-old Moore appears to like his own odds. When asked by the AP on Wednesday whether he will run for Senate in 2020, the former judge said, "I'm still praying about it and talking to people, my family, my wife and I'm strongly considering it."
Newsweek reported that the recent Mason-Dixon poll shows the strength of Moore's name recognition, but also indicates Alabama Republicans are divided over whether or not they like him. Moore's favorability rating with GOP voters was at 34 percent, but another 29 percent found him unfavorable.