The Worst Possible Person Just Won Alabama’s Runoff For U.S. Senate, And It’s All Trump’s Fault

Alabama’s Republican runoff election for Jeff Sessions’ vacant Senate seat has come to its end, and the candidate that will go up against Democrat Doug Jones in December’s general election is none other than Roy Moore. Moore is the former chief justice of Alabama’s state Supreme Court, and he’s the one who ordered all of Alabama’s probate judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage in 2013.

But Moore wasn’t Donald Trump’s candidate. Luther Strange, who has been holding Sessions’ seat, was the man backed by Trump. In fact, Trump was at a political rally for Strange last Friday when he called for NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to be fired. The president’s endorsement usually helps a candidate, yet it’s Moore who just won. Here’s a little background on Moore: He was yanked from the Alabama Supreme Court’s bench in 2003 for refusing to remove a massive monument to the Bible’s 10 Commandments from the grounds of the courthouse. That’s considered a violation of the First Amendment since it constitutes a government endorsement of one religion.

In 2012, Moore won his job back, then called same-sex relationships “sodomy,” and decried the immorality of it all in the wake of the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage across all 50 states. He wanted to bar Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison from serving in office because he’s a Muslim, and he accused Obama of using our military for social experiments (including wiping out “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allowing transgender individuals to serve).

He has also defended Putin because Putin seems to agree with him on the issue of LGBTQ rights. One might think that would earn him Trump’s endorsement, but somehow, it didn’t.

All of that should have made this election a tossup given conservatives’ current love of Trump, but it didn’t. Moore was polling ahead of Strange pretty much the entire time. Why?

Well, Trump, for starters. That buffoon endorsed Luther Strange and bragged about it all over Twitter, up to and including through today. He boasted that Strange’s numbers had skyrocketed since his endorsement, but according to NBC News, Trump’s endorsement actually pushed people towards Moore. Trump won Alabama by double digits last year, but it seems they’re souring towards him now.

That makes this Trump’s fault, at least partly. Voters claimed that his endorsement didn’t affect them one way or another, but those who were influenced by Trump said he pushed them away from Strange. What that means is that some Republican voters chose Moore because Trump backed the other candidate.

That’s a massive blow to Trump. Maybe Alabama voters are ashamed of Trump, and they’d have good reason to feel that way. For instance, speaking on the “Rick and Bubba” radio show, which is based out of Birmingham, Trump said:

“Luther Strange is going to be a great Senator. He loves Alabama, he loves the states and he loves the country. He will absolutely win against the Democrat.

Ray will have a hard time. If Luther wins, the Democrats will hardly fight. If Ray wins, [Democrats] will pour in $30 million.”

Moore’s first name is Roy. When Rick Burgess, one of the show’s hosts, pointed out that he’d gotten Roy’s name wrong, Trump actually said that it’s not a good sign if the president doesn’t know his name. Then he said:

“I don’t know that much about Roy Moore. Roy Moore is going to have a very hard time getting elected against the Democrat.

Against Luther they won’t even fight.”

When news of Moore’s win came out, Trump tweeted the following:

As noted above, the general election is December 12. That tweet has since been deleted, and replaced with one noting the correct month for the general.

Where is Trump’s influence, then? Rosie Gray of The Atlantic said:

“The outcome of the special election primary will help answer the question of ‘who is more influential with Trump’s base: Trump himself, or the constellation of powerful voices on the right to whom base voters listen and who are supporting Moore?’”

Well, it seems that Trump doesn’t have the influence he thinks he does. Especially given that Strange was likely a far better candidate for Senate than Moore ever could be. Moore is an absolute disaster. He’s a danger to the U.S., and in deep-red Alabama, there’s very little chance that a Democrat can win Sessions’ Senate seat. And Trump’s endorsement of Strange is partly responsible for this. He’s a blight on the GOP and a blight on the nation as a whole. He’s dangerous, and Moore’s election is evidence of that.

Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images