Republicans far and wide are breathing more easily today than they were a week ago.
Last week they were worrying that one of their own, Roy Moore of Alabama, was going to win a special election to a U.S. Senate seat. He didn’t. Moore lost that contest to Doug Jones, a Democratic former federal prosecutor.
I’ll leave it to my old pal Tom Taschinger — who succeeded me more than 20 years ago as editorial page editor of the Beaumont Enterprise — to explain in detail how Republicans won while losing an election.
Read Taschinger’s essay here.
Moore was a damaged candidate even before allegations surfaced from women who accused him of sexual misconduct. He is a religious zealot who doesn’t work well with so-called “establishment” Republicans, many of whom cringed at the idea of him joining the ranks of the U.S. Senate.
Moreover, other GOP candidates would have had to run under the banner of a party that elected someone accused of the hideous acts that Moore is alleged to have committed. That’s if he won.
Since he didn’t, Republicans now have been spared the misery of campaigning under the specter of a “Sen. Roy Moore.”
Does this put the Republicans in the clear? Does it make a forgone conclusion that they’ll hold onto their slim Senate majority after the 2018 midterm election?
Hardly. The fight has just begun.