Tags: Donald Trump | roy moore | luther strange | jeff sessions | alabama

How Roy Moore Took Down Luther Strange

Image: How Roy Moore Took Down Luther Strange
(AP)

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017 09:14 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Against the odds, Roy Moore prevailed over his opponent Luther Strange in Alabama Senate runoff on Sept. 26. Heavily outspent, Moore was also forced to deal with campaign appearances by both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on behalf of his opponent.

Moreover, he faced a daily bombardment of attack mail and television broadsides from the political action committee of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Against it all, the twice-removed chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court emerged a bigger-than-ever-anticipated winner. With near final returns, Moore trounced appointed Sen. Luther Strange with 55 percent of the vote to become the Republican nominee for the seat relinquished by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In carrying 66 of the 73 counties in Alabama, Moore, 70, is considered the strong favorite over Democrat Doug Jones in the special election in December for the remainder of Sessions’ term.

Moore pulled off his big win Tuesday in large part because of who he was — a Trump-style outsider who would be a “one-man Freedom Caucus” in the Senate. He would defy McConnell and the leadership in much the same way as the Freedom Caucus in the House defies Speaker Paul Ryan.

“Look, Trump was an outsider who won because people here believed he would throw a monkey wrench into the works in Washington,” concluded pollster Robert Cahaly, whose Trafalgar Group was the lone polling firm to call the results in Alabama almost precisely what they turned out to be.

“Judge Moore — who was removed as chief justice for refusing to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from the state Hall of Justice and a second time for telling local officials to ignore the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage — was perceived as the same kind of outsider candidate as Trump,” said Cahaly.

As for appearances on Strange’s behalf by Trump and Pence, Cahaly believes “they didn’t matter at all. Probably 80 percent of the Republicans who voted strongly support Trump. But as much as they like him, they disagreed with him on one matter — the Senate race.”

The strong opposition from McConnell and his political action committee was also helpful to Moore.

“I could see Judge Moore winning big, in part because the ads from McConnell’s group are trying to portray the judge as something his supporters don’t perceive him as,” Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., told Newsmax hours before the voting.

McConnell himself became an issue in the runoff. Moore repeatedly vowed never to support the Kentuckian for majority leader and his visiting campaigners Sarah Palin and former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka drew loud boos at a rally when they denounced Strange as a tool of McConnell.

“Roy Moore did not win despite McConnell’s opposition, he won because of McConnell’s opposition,” concluded Republican political consultant Jordan Gehrke. “Going all the way back to the primary, both Roy Moore and Mo Brooks promised that if elected, they would not support McConnell for leader under any circumstances. They won because of open defiance to the majority leader.”

This “defiant outsider” message clearly helped Roy Moore become the first candidate to deny a sitting Republican senator for renomination since 2012. Whether it can be repeated by primary opponents to Republican Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada and Jeff Flake in Arizona in 2018 will surely be one of the year’s most-talked-of political sagas.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Against the odds, Roy Moore prevailed against Luther Strange.
roy moore, luther strange, jeff sessions, alabama
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2017-14-27
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 09:14 AM
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