NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Alabama U.S. Senate race should serve as “heads up” for the Republican Party “which lost voters they normally get,” says Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
“The message is what I have been saying all along,” the governor told reporters Wednesday. “Republicans need to elect people who can win two elections and obviously we nominated someone in Alabama who could not.”
No, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore could not win a primary and then a general election against Democrat Doug Jones, who was formally the U.S. Attorney for northern Alabama.
Allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls while Moore was a 30-something Assistant District Attorney aside, there was more than that for Moore say a lot of political analysts.
“This guy barely wins without a sex scandal and I think it was not unexpected that this would be a close race,” says conservative commentator Steve Gill who writes for the website Tennessee Star. “I think there are a lot of lessons that we can learn from Alabama. First, if you run a flawed candidate that does not appeal to the base, they are not going to turn out in a general election.”
As for Tennessee, Gill added that “as we look at Republican primaries for governor, senate and Congress, you need to look at who can win and represent conservative values in a state like Tennessee.
Tennessee’s Republican governor says the Alabama U.S. Senate race should be a warning for his party.
“You are seeing some changing voting patterns,” added Haslam. “For people in my party, it’s a heads up and why are we losing some voters that we have traditionally gotten.”
Many Republicans find solace that Jones is only filling the remainder of Jeff Sessions term, who left to become U.S. Attorney General.
Most analysts say any Republican but Roy Moore should expect to be a favorite in the next Alabama Senate election in 2020.