Alabama Was Referendum on Nothing More Than Roy Moore

As soon as Fox News projected Democrat Doug Jones the winner of Alabama's U.S. Senate race Tuesday night, pundits and Democratic pols began proclaiming his win over Republican Roy Moore as a negative referendum on the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress.

That former U.S. attorney and first-time office-seeker Jones could come from nowhere to become the first Democrat to win a Senate seat from Alabama since 1992, they agreed, did not bode well for Republicans. Coupled with the Democratic win of the Virginia governorship last month, national Democrats were forecasting Jones' triumph as a "dress rehearsal" for big gains in the midterm elections of 2018.

But upon close scrutiny of what happened in the internationally-watched race in the Yellowhammer State, one finds it's all moonshine.

Even before eight women made the sensational charges of sexual misbehavior by Moore toward them when they were teenagers, the former chief justice of the state was considered a divisive political figure. He was removed as chief justice for violating his fellow jurists' vote not to put up a monument bearing the Ten Commandments, and then came back in 2012 to recapture his state's top judicial office -- and then was removed again for admonishing local and county officials to disobey the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.

"What Alabama voters told us more than anything else is that candidate quality matters," veteran national GOP consultant Ford O'Connell told us. "There is a limit on the amount of craziness they will accept. Had Luther Strange [the appointed senator beaten for nomination by Moore] or [Republican primary third-place finisher and Rep.] Mo Brooks been the nominee instead of Roy Moore, Republicans would have maintained the seat without breaking a sweat."

Read more from John Gizzi at Newsmax

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