"To think you can elect Roy Moore without getting the baggage is pretty naïve."
Warning that the brewing Roy Moore fiasco won't just hurt Republicans in 2018, but far beyond, South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham called the accused child molester the "gift that keeps on giving for Democrats."
He also cautioned that any Republican running for statewide office next year can expect to "be asked about 10,000 times" about Moore, as the scandal is sure to stick around if he wins the Tuesday election in Alabama.
"From a political point of view, there is no winning with Roy Moore in my view," Graham told CNN's Poppy Harlow. "To think you can elect Roy Moore without getting the baggage is pretty naïve."
Indeed, in the scenario Graham painted, if Moore wins, the Senate Ethics Committee would likely launch an investigation into the claims against him, hearing testimony from the eight women who have accused him of sexual harassment and child molestation. Sitting senators would then have to come to some sort of verdict regarding Moore's fitness for office.
In other words, Moore winning the election would in no way mean the end of the story.
HARLOW: If indeed Roy Moore wins and as you said, if he does, he will be seated. And if he is not expelled and serves in the Senate as a Republican colleague, what do you believe that does to your party, especially heading into the 2018 midterms?
GRAHAM: Well, if you're running in a 2018 as a Republican, Roy Moore becomes your best friend, you'll be asked about 10,000 times, 'What do you think about Roy Moore?' Roy Moore will be the gift that keeps on giving for Democrats. It will define the 2018 election — at least 2018. And to think you can elect Roy Moore without getting the baggage of Roy Moore is pretty naïve. I wished he would've stepped aside. They're going to have the election tomorrow, we'll see what the people of Alabama say. But the Senate will also speak. There's a process within the Senate to regulate membership of the body. From a political point of view, there is no winning with Roy Moore in my view.
Graham's grave warning comes while Donald Trump, an accused sexual predator himself, openly campaigns for Moore's win, recording a robo call on the behalf of his favorite accused pedophile.
Note that while polls suggests that partisan Republicans in Alabama do not believe Moore's many accusers, national polling indicates that a strong majority of Americans voters agree that if public officials face multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, they should resign from office.
This story isn't going away for Moore, for Trump, or for the GOP.