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Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore as he arrived to his election party on Sept. 26, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala. Photo: Brynn Anderson / AP

After the allegations against Roy Moore, and his subsequent response — in which he didn't rule out dating teenage girls while in his 30s — "some GOP political operatives fear Roy Moore could lose the race" and cost the party a Senate seat, AP reports.

What we're hearing: A Republican close to Senate Republican leadership believes the party's effort to get Moore out of the race will fail.

Per AP:

  • Moore "emphatically rejected increasing pressure to abandon his Senate bid as fears grew among GOP leaders that a once-safe Senate seat was in jeopardy just a month before a [Dec.] 12 special election."
  • "Asked if that would have been usual for him, Moore said, 'Not generally, no. ... I don't remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother."

Be smart: If you're in your 30s and you need to ask the mother's permission, date someone else.

Go deeper: How Republicans are trying to stop Roy Moore from joining the Senate.

UPDATE: A Republican close to McConnell said that contrary to the view we originally reported here, McConnell has "led the pack on Moore from day one": "McConnell is a very pragmatic guy, but he's very principled guy. And he's willing to lose the seat to prevent someone who's guilty of these things from taking it."

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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Go deeper

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Bob Nelsen on AstraZeneca and his plan to revolutionize biotech

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday reported promising efficacy data for their COVID-19 vaccine, which has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and may be distributed earlier in developing countries.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of vaccine and therapeutics manufacturing with Bob Nelsen, a successful biotech investor who on Monday launched Resilience, a giant new pharma production platform that he believes will prepare America for its next major health challenges.

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President-elect Joe Biden is naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate change.

Why it matters: The transition team's announcement sought to show that it will be an influential role, noting that Kerry — a former Massachusetts senator and the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee — will be on the National Security Council.

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While the 95% efficacy rates for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are great news for the U.S. and Europe, Monday's announcement from Oxford and AstraZeneca may be far more significant for the rest of the world.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca plan to distribute their vaccine at cost (around $3-4 per dose), and have already committed to providing over 1 billion doses to the developing world. The price tags are higher for the Pfizer ($20) and Moderna ($32-37) vaccines.