Great Again candidate Roy Moore defeated legacy GOP candidate Luther Strange in a runoff primary for a December special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. Luther Strange had received an endorsement from US President Donald Trump who recognized Strange's cooperation with Trump's attempts at working with the legacy GOP controlled Senate. Against President Trump's limited endorsement of Strange was the endorsement of Roy Moore by Steve Bannon, the architect of President Trump's electoral success. Roy Moore was further endorsed by President Trump who announced his intention to enthusiastically campaign for Moore in the event Moore came out on top in the runoff.
There are lessons here:
- The Trump brand itself doesn't sell, not to the point that it can overcome the downside of the legacy GOP against the Great Again brand of social conservatism and economic populism that got Trump elected.
- Trump got to show that selling a candidate with the enthusiasm legacy Senate GOP leaders "sold" Trump's legislative agenda isn't selling at all.
- The Great Again platform that got Trump elected is going to be FAR more painful for the legacy GOP socialists than the "Tea Party" episode was.