By midweek, the mere mention of Moore’s name prompted anguished looks and exasperated answers from Republican senators.

“I’m really done talking about Moore,” said Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is usually happy to talk about any topic with the Capitol press corps.

“I’m not going to get in the middle of that, I got enough problems without that,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) when asked about the race.

“It’s up to Alabama,” he said.