What could the allegations against Roy Moore mean to the Alabama GOP and voters?

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - John Meredith, WHNT News 19 political analyst, predicted Friday that the allegations laid out in an explosive Washington Post article will not cause Roy Moore to lose the U.S. Senate special election.

In the article, several women detail encounters with Roy Moore when they were in their teenage years. One involves the account of a 14-year-old girl in 1979, who alleges that she had unwanted sexual contact with Moore. Moore maintains that the story is false.

The Moore campaign released a statement Friday that read in part:

"As a former judge and administer of the law, I take the protection of our innocent as one of my most sacred callings. False allegations are gravely serious and will have a profound consequence on those who are truly harassed or molested."

Now, several Republican lawmakers are pulling their endorsements for Moore. Some Alabama sheriffs are speaking out, too.

"There is a definitive difference between the national Republican officeholders and their reaction to this, and Alabama Republican office holders," noted WHNT News 19 Political Analyst John Meredith.

Meredith has worked in Washington, D.C. on the political scene. He was a business lobbyist, and a member of the Republican Party. He remains connected to the party in Alabama, and noticed that many Alabama Republicans haven't been so quick to cast Moore aside.

Meredith explained why that may be.

"The Republicans in this state are strong. What do they fear? They do not fear losing this election, so why remove him?" he explained.

He added that he noticed a sense of party loyalty that exists in this case that to some, including himself as a Republican, could be considered "shameful."

"They look and they say, 'Who has the R behind their name?'" he stated.

Alabama's Republican National Committeeman, Paul Reynolds, supports Moore and tells the Associated Press that the women's allegations reported in the Washington Post were designed to shipwreck Moore's campaign.

But Meredith doesn't think, based on his conversations with voters, that Roy Moore will lose many votes because of this scandal.

"Most of the voters that I have heard from-- this is completely irrelevant and it will not affect their vote one bit," he explained.

What about Doug Jones, the Democrat up against Roy Moore in the upcoming Special Election? We asked Meredith if Jones could benefit from the new controversy surrounding Moore.

"That's the dilemma. If he uses this as a campaign issue, I think he can win. But-- how negative is that? And how does that affect who he is, as a person or as a candidate?" said Meredith, saying this could put Jones in front of a tough decision about how to respond.  "He has run a campaign that would make you think he would not touch this with a 10-foot pole. So if he does touch this, what does that say about his own views?"

Of Moore's statement released Friday, Meredith does not think his response makes any difference to voters.

"I don't think that convinces anybody who was on the fence, to vote for him. But I think he had to do that politically, and I think there is nothing wrong with that statement," he said.

All things considered, Meredith predicts that things will die down and that Moore will continue to be absent from the campaign trail, continuing to refuse debate requests and stay away from many public appearances as they cruise to the finish line.

"Frankly, I think he will be elected," said Meredith.

Meredith believes the only way Doug Jones can win is if there is a credible Republican write-in campaign splitting Republican votes.

"I don't think Judge Moore is going to step down. There is no reason for him to. Frankly, if there is not a campaign on a write-in level, he will win," Meredith predicted.

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