The controversy over whether Moore should step aside in the face of an accusation of sexual misconduct with a teenager highlights the waning power of GOP leaders to affect the party’s fortunes and the split with the Republican ranks about how to deal with such problems. Moore has denied the allegation.
In Virginia, Gillespie’s strategy didn’t work. He lost to Democrat Ralph Northam by an unexpectedly wide margin of nine points. The margin of defeat has rightly rattled Republicans who wonder whether this portends an anti-Trump wave in next year’s midterm elections. The size of Northam’s margins among women (22 points) and voters younger than 45 (30 points) should add significantly to those concerns.