The Note: Is political disorder the order of the day?

PHOTO: Roy Moore, GOP Senate candidate and former chief justice on the Alabama Supreme Court speaks during the annual Family Research Councils Values Voter Summit, Oct. 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. PlayMark Wilson/Getty Images
WATCH Trump believes Roy Moore will 'step aside' if allegations true, White House says

The TAKE with Rick Klein

What if the disruption has only begun?

That's the question on the minds of strategists and elected officials in both parties, who have now watched voters deliver nothing as consistent as inconsistency for going on a dozen years now.

The real jolt of the 2017 elections isn't in the new faces produced, or the retirements tied to a frustrating climate, or strategic lessons offered up to Democrats and Republicans alike. (And big surprises could still be in store for this year, as revelations in Alabama are making clear.)

The shock comes from hearing familiar dynamics – waves and vote surges, stunning defeats of incumbents, coast-to-coast frustrations with the status quo – that don't exactly track with what came before.

Republicans may come together to push through a tax bill, but that won't leave them united even on the question of whether to support or oppose President Donald Trump.

Democrats have come together to channel their resistance of Trump, but can't agree on tactics or policy beyond that point.

This means more disorder is in order - feeding a cycle of uncertainty.

A year after the Trump election, it's conceivable that we've still witnessed only rumblings of the political quakes that may yet come.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

The White House has weighed in.

The president, while allowing that a single, decades-old allegation shouldn't "destroy a person's life," also believes that if these allegations of sexual misconduct are true, "Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside," according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Vice President Mike Pence found the allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore "disturbing" and, according to a written statement from his spokesperson, "believes, if true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office."

The White House was not alone.

Quickly and fiercely, Republicans on Capitol Hill Thursday delivered similar statements as the news broke. A few were unequivocal, like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who said plainly that Moore should "immediately step aside."

But most distanced themselves from Moore while adding qualifying rebukes or reserving final judgement for a later date.

The Washington Post, which broke the story, provided numerous, contemporaneous witnesses and even documents to back up the women's stories. Two of the accusing families stood by their stories when talking to ABC News.

Moore has denied the accusations, blamed the press, and doubled down on his campaign.

Given that the statute of limitations on any relevant crimes has run out, these allegations are unlikely to be adjudicated in a court of law.

Given the late date, even if he were to withdraw his bid, his name would still be printed on the ballot. Republicans, however, could launch a write-in campaign.

If they chose not to, they will likely face follow-up questions about what exactly their barometer is for determining the facts in a situation like this and if they are actively seeking clarification before the election next month.

The TIP with John Verhovek

While numerous Republicans have already called on Roy Moore to step aside as their party's nominee, if the allegations against him are true, they face a glaring legal issue regardless of the path Moore chooses to take.

According to Alabama state law, a candidate's name can only be removed from the ballot if the request is made 76 days before an election. Needless to say, that deadline is long passed and Moore's name will appear on the ballot whether he decides to drop out or not.

If the firestorm around the allegations does not die down, Republicans will face the very real possibility that they will need someone to mount a write-in campaign with less than a month to go until voters head to the polls.

One potential candidate — Luther Strange — the sitting senator who lost the primary to Moore less than two months ago.

When asked by ABC News Thursday whether he was considering a write-in campaign, Strange offered a "no comment."

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY:

  • Overnight, President Trump arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam and delivered remarks to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit.
  • Trump will participate in an official welcome reception for APEC leaders and spouses followed by a gala dinner and cultural performance Friday evening local time.
  • The White House is not anticipating any formal meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Vietnam.
  • Today is the 242nd birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
  • While in Vietnam, Trump marked the upcoming Veterans Day holiday by spending time with seven American veterans of the Vietnam War. The president called the soldiers "great, great warriors" and a "national treasure." The Marine Commandant lays a wreath at the WWII memorial during ceremony at the National Mall.
  • This Week on 'This Week': The Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, with ABC News senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce, Republican strategist and ABC News contributor Alex Castellanos, ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, and historian Mark Updegrove, author of the new book, "The Last Republicans."
  • QUOTE OF THE DAY

    "The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of." - Sen. John McCain.

    NEED TO READ

  • ANALYSIS from ABC News' Jonathan Karl: President Trump in Vietnam: 'There's no place like home.' At the close of his speech to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC), President Donald Trump took a philosophical turn, echoing the words of Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" as he outlined his vision for a world order rooted in nationalism. "Finally, let us never forget," the president said, "the world has many places, many dreams and many roads, but in all of the world there's no place like home." http://abcn.ws/2zMynF0
  • Trump, Putin will not have formal meeting during APEC summit: White House. The much-discussed formal meeting between President Donald Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Vietnam will not happen after all, according to the White House. (Jordyn Phelps) http://abcn.ws/2zwkvOq
  • What Senate Republicans are proposing in their tax plan. The Senate Finance Committee released its vision for a tax reform bill Thursday afternoon — a proposal that differs from the House of Representatives' blueprint in several significant ways. (Ali Rogin) http://abcn.ws/2zrrZ5y
  • GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore denies allegation of sexual misconduct years ago with 14-year-old. Controversial Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore denied a Washington Post report Thursday that he engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl in the late 1970s. (Adam Kelsey and John Verhovek) http://abcn.ws/2ApvPJc
  • Senate passes mandatory sexual harassment training. Just before the Senate adjourned for the Veterans Day holiday weekend Thursday, the upper chamber passed a resolution mandating that sexual harassment training will be mandatory for senators, staff, and interns of the Senate. (Mariam Khan) http://abcn.ws/2m7C5TA
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  • Trump adviser Stephen Miller interview by special counsel team. Top Trump adviser Stephen Miller has been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team, sources with direct knowledge confirmed to ABC News. (John Santucci) http://abcn.ws/2iJBH98
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  • Inside Trump's friendship with President Xi. ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports from Beijing. http://abcn.ws/2AoSfdB
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  • FiveThirtyEight: North Korea's nukes may not be its biggest threat. "It has biological and chemical weapons, too." http://53eig.ht/2ykyzXv
  • The Guardian: Don't get carried away – Trump is as popular today as he was last year. "After Tuesday's election results, analysts have been quick to claim how troubling this is for the president – but the data shows that view might be premature." http://bit.ly/2zqWqc7
  • The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.

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