Breitbart News “nationalized” the Alabama U.S. Senate runoff race between grassroots candidate Judge Roy Moore and establishment-backed Luther Strange as a “proxy” war between the populist grassroots and the GOP establishment, Ben Kamisar and Jonathan Easley report in The Hill.
As such, the Alabama runoff potentially foreshadows 2018 midterm races pitting populist insurgent candidates against Beltway establishment incumbents.
[Judge Roy] Moore has fought back [against GOP establishment negative ads] with his own stable of supporters, led by [Breitbart Executive Chairman Steve] Bannon and other prominent Republicans popular with the GOP base. Those supporters hope to both deliver a rebuke to McConnell and also energize insurgent candidates looking to run primary campaigns against Senate Republican incumbents.
There’s chatter in Bannon’s orbit about a new grass-roots “media-political nexus,” led by Bannon’s Breitbart News, pro-Trump outside groups like Great America Alliance and the House Freedom Caucus. Moore’s Alabama bid marks the first major test of that effort.
Breitbart has effectively nationalized the race, making it a proxy war between the grass roots and establishments and regularly devoting the site’s front page to the race. Bannon himself headlined a pro-Moore rally in Alabama on Monday night, where he was introduced by Brexit architect Nigel Farage.
Meanwhile, Andrew Surabian, Bannon’s former political adviser, is working with Great America on ads and rallies.
Moore landed another boost from the conservative Freedom Caucus after its chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), and a handful of caucus members endorsed him.