Alabama Republicans on Tuesday voted decisively to nominate Roy Moore, a former state Supreme Court judge, for a U.S. Senate seat, delivering a rebuke to President Donald Trump and the GOP establishment that supported his rival.
Mr. Moore was declared the victor over Sen. Luther Strange by the Associated Press in a runoff primary election to choose a successor to Attorney General jeff Sessions. …
The vote came after a bitter primary campaign that pitted Mr. Trump against many in his own political base — including former White House strategist Steve Bannon — who supported Mr. Moore.
Mr. Trump’s inability to deliver victory to Mr. Strange suggests he won’t be able to reliably harness the antiestablishment political movement that he unleashed within the GOP and rode to the White House in the 2016 campaign.
Many Republicans believed that Mr. Moore, an anti-incumbent outsider, was more in line with the spirit of the Trump 2016 campaign than Mr. Strange, who has close ties to the party hierarchy in Washington. The Moore win elevates a firebrand who, if he prevails in the general election, could make it more difficult for President Trump to advance his agenda and for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to manage his slim Senate majority.
Mr. Moore has taken some stands at odds with Mr. Trump, including his opposition to the latest GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which he believed didn’t go far enough, and he campaigned hard against Mr. McConnell, whom he portrayed as an exemplar of an out-of-touch Washington elite. …
Mr. Moore’s victory could encourage other outsider candidates to challenge incumbent Republicans in the 2018 midterm election, and Mr. Bannon has made plain he wants to help them.
“We’re not going to hug out our differences,” he said at the Moore rally. “We’re going to fight at the ballot box.” …
Mr. Moore gained notoriety as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, a post he twice lost: Once because he defied a court order to take down a Ten Commandments monument in a state building and a second time, after he was re-elected, because he refused to obey the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. He has blamed many of society’s ills and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the decline of religion in public life.
The revolution of the deplorables continues.