Democratic candidate Doug Jones was declared the winner of the Alabama Senate race. Republican candidate Roy Moore, under media scrutiny after numerous accusations came forward concerning his alleged history of sexual misconduct, lost by a small margin.
The morning after the election, many media outlets are speculating why Moore lost and are giving their perspectives on what Moore's loss means for Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
According to Vice News, a backlash against Moore was able to propel suburban Republicans, including a newly energized Democratic base, to create an unlikely coalition that propelled Jones to victory. More Democrats came out to vote than in previous elections, causing Jones to win Democratic Birmingham county by more than 83,000 votes. Keep in mind that Jones' margin of victory was a mere 21,000 ballots. Black and women voters also voted overwhelmingly against Moore.
Vice points out that the write-in vote was another factor contributing to Moore's loss. More than 22,000 people statewide cast write-in ballots, including prominent Republican Senator Richard Shelby, who claimed that accusations against Moore were credible and disqualifying from political office.
Despite Moore losing the race, some media outlets are claiming that this isn't necessarily a victory for the Democratic Party. The Washington Post, for instance, published an article on Wednesday morning titled "Roy Moore lost the battle, but he's winning the war."
They correctly point out that for decades, there has been a war within the GOP between traditional conservatives and right-wing populists. Moore's ability to garner so many votes, accompanied by the recent victory of Donald Trump to the presidency, means that right-wing populists are now ascendant within the Republican Party.
As Bannon often puts it, "a populist-nationalist party realignment that can govern for the next 50 years" is making significant strides within the GOP.
The National Review, a magazine that has promoted movement conservatism (as opposed to right-wing populism) since the days it was founded by William Buckley, wrote an article last night titled "Steve Bannon Loses Alabama." In this article, the National Review suggests that Steve Bannon and like-minded thinkers have made it their goal to find "ridiculous candidates and convince voters they are legitimate."
The National Review, disagreeing with the Washington Post, thinks that last night displayed the waning influence of Donald Trump and other populist-nationalists within the Republican Party. Particularly notable, they claim, is that the Bannon-Trump wing of the party was unable to win in the state of Alabama, the state perhaps most likely to elect a candidate of this mold.
"We already knew that a party made in Bannon’s image would be repulsive," they wrote. "Tonight we learned it is not even politically viable."
In recent news, President Trump just reacted to Moore's loss in Alabama.