Speed Reads

alabama special election

Fox News analyst finds a considerable 'silver lining' for the GOP in Roy Moore's loss

Republican Roy Moore lost a Senate race in Alabama on Tuesday, despite full-throated support from President Trump, but Trump backed the other guy in the Republican primary, Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt said Tuesday night. "This is something that Stephen Bannon and his acolytes are going to have to think about now," he said. "Donald Trump was right about the Alabama primary; Steve Bannon, the president's chief political adviser during the campaign, was wrong."

Heading into 2018, Stirewalt said, Republicans and the Bannonites are going to figure out "how much of this primary battle stuff do they want to do? How much of this civil war stuff do they want to do? And what other seats could it cost them?" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is "thinking very much about the 2018 midterm elections," he added. "Having Roy Moore serving [in] the United States Senate might have cost multiple seats for Republicans. You can't know, it's all hypotheticals as you play it out — but having Roy Moore as a sitting U.S. senator ... was going to be trouble for the rest of his party." In politics, Stirewelt said, "winning is always better than losing, but this may be one where the silver lining is quite considerable."

Conservative Republicans in Alabama had a tough choice between helping their party in Washington and making themselves a national laughingstock, Stirewalt said. "Kookism is not something Alabamians are particularly interested in associating themselves with," and Roy Moore was a bridge too far. "I think that's where you get those tens of thousands of write-in votes," he added, "where they're saying, 'I'm not going to vote for the Democrat,' but — I think it's important — they're saying, 'I want you to know I was here ... and if you wouldn't have failed me, I would have been there for you."