If the latest report from The Hill newspaper is to be believed, it appears establishment Republicans in Washington, D.C., didn’t get the message from last week’s Alabama Senate primary runoff election.
As The Hill reported Tuesday morning:
Establishment Republicans are skeptical that former judge Roy Moore’s victory in last week’s Alabama GOP primary runoff means that an alliance of insurgent conservative groups, led by former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, is about to knock off more Republican incumbents.
Bannon and his allies have used Moore’s Tuesday night victory over the establishment-backed Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) as a springboard to float challenges against a fleet of Republican incumbents. Bannon and his allies see the wind at their backs after a unified and high-profile push, arguing that the win means that no incumbent is safe.
But some establishment Republican strategists aren’t buying it. They argue that the influence Bannon and his Breitbart News outlet had on Moore’s victory is overblown and that the unique set of circumstances that won Alabama won’t be easily transferable to other primary challenges across the country.
“Moore was leading this race long before Bannon got involved and he won this race for reasons that have nothing to do with Bannon’s involvement,” said Alex Conant, a strategist who worked on Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) presidential campaign. “There were a lot of extenuating circumstances that made it difficult for Sen. Strange to win.”
The report states the GOP establishment believes the Alabama race “hinged on several factors that are unlikely to reappear the next time” the grassroots mounts a challenge. In other words, Strange was the “wrong candidate”—an oft-repeated refrain anytime they have attempted to explain a disastrous electoral loss.