How Roy Moore could actually win Alabama’s Republican senate primary

After Doug Jones won Alabama’s U.S. Senate race in 2017 — the first time a Democrat had won a seat there in 25 years — it seemed as if Roy Moore’s political career was over. After all, he faced allegations that he initiated unwanted sexual contact with teenage girls when he was in his 30s. (Moore has denied the allegations, dismissing them as “fake news.”)

But now Moore has decided to run for the Senate again. On Thursday, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court announced his bid — and his new campaign can’t be entirely written off. Yes, Moore is defying the wishes of many Republicans, including President Trump, who said in a tweet last month that “Roy Moore cannot win.” But Moore still has a passionate base of support, particularly among conservative evangelical Christians. So the main question for his candidacy moving forward will be whether he can attract voters beyond his base.

As things stand, he could have enough backing to reach a primary runoff — Alabama requires a nominee to win a majority of the primary vote or the top-two candidates must face off in a subsequent election. However, while Moore would probably struggle to win the majority support necessary to advance to the general election, others in the field might have weaknesses Moore could exploit.