One approach that Republicans are considering, according to people briefed on the deliberations, would involve asking Gov. Kay Ivey to order a new date for the election, scheduling it for early next year and giving the party time to persuade Mr. Moore to withdraw, or force him out of the race.
Alabama election law requires candidates to withdraw at least 76 days before an election in order to be replaced on the ballot, a deadline Mr. Moore has already missed.
State law gives the governor broad authority to set the date of special elections, and Ms. Ivey, who is a Republican, already rescheduled the Senate election once, after inheriting the governor’s office in April when her predecessor, Robert Bentley, resigned in a sex and corruption scandal. Ms. Ivey’s advisers have not ruled out exercising that power again, according to Republicans in touch with her camp, but she has signaled that she would like reassurances of support from the White House before taking any such step.
A spokesman for the governor did not reply to an email asking about her intentions.
But there is no apparent precedent for rescheduling an election so close to the planned vote, and it is unlikely Ms. Ivey could move the election without a court battle, Republicans acknowledged. But advocates of a delay say at least it could keep the election date tied up in court.