Republicans who supported Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are reeling after a stunning loss in a special election on Tuesday to replace the seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
While others in the party who didn’t support him may be breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t have to spend the next three years apologizing for his election, one person who is likely not feeling relief is Breitbart chairman and former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who fought tooth and nail and used all of his institutional pull at Breitbart to try to get Moore elected, even after allegations against him of sexual misconduct and assault surfaced.
Democrat Doug Jones’ victory over Moore is seen by many as a referendum not only on the Trump presidency, but on Bannon and his quest to mix up the GOP establishment by pushing populist candidates in midterm elections. The defeat leaves Bannon without an election victory in which to plant his flag and will likely have other members of the Republican Party wondering whether his strategy is the best one for the party as a whole moving forward, and how fallout from this election might impact future races.
Sean T. Walsh, Republican political analyst and partner at Wilson Walsh Consulting in San Francisco; he is a former adviser to California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former White House staffer for Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush