The Roy Moore victory in Alabama renews the significance of the Trump win, showing that the deplorables are still voting.
People are claiming the Roy Moore victory hurts Donald Trump, but the truth is that it only hurts him if he keeps listening to the same advisors who told him not only endorse Luther Strange but campaign for him. If Trump works with Moore and backs off from his attempts to work with the Republican establishment, there is no reason to think this will really hurt him.
The Washington Post reports, “After Alabama, GOP anti-establishment wing declares all-out war in 2018.”
The stunning defeat of President Trump’s chosen Senate candidate in Alabama on Tuesday amounted to a political lightning strike — setting the stage for a worsening Republican civil war that could have profound effects on next year’s midterm elections and undermine Trump’s clout with his core voters.
The GOP primary victory by conservative firebrand Roy Moore over Sen. Luther Strange could also produce a stampede of Republican retirements in the coming months and an energized swarm of challengers.
It marked yet another humiliation for the Washington-based Republican establishment, particularly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whose allies pumped millions of dollars into the race to prop up Strange and reassure his colleagues that they could survive the Trump era.
Moore’s win, however, also demonstrates the real political limitations of Trump, who endorsed “Big Luther” at McConnell’s urging and staged a rally for Strange in Huntsville, Ala., just days before the primary. The outcome is likely to further fray Trump’s ties to Republicans in Congress, many of whom now fear that even his endorsement cannot protect them from voter fury.
“People think about those things all the time up here,” said Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), referring to unease in elected Republican ranks. “A lot of them won’t be run out of town — they want to stay and fight for their beliefs. But they know Moore’s supporters will come after them anyway.”
The tremors began before the polls closed in Alabama. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced on Tuesday afternoon that he would not seek reelection in 2018, dogged by complaints from conservatives in his state over his criticism of Trump. A number of Corker’s potential primary rivals had already begun talks with wealthy donors.
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