The political party system dating
If one is a voter who truly believes Moore will prevent the murder of the innocent, and Jones will promote it, then it is not irrational to cast a ballot for Moore (nor it is hard to understand how that voter will seek to rationalize the accusations as “fake news” or somesuch).Note, too, that a lot of social conservatives have deep opposition to same sex marriage, and Jones favors it, while Moore was willing to lose a seat on the state Supreme Court over the issue.So, Senator Luther Strange, the loser in the primary, cannot run as an independent.A write-in campaign may be possible (but I think this unlikely to happen, and unlikely to be successful if mounted).** So, while a write-in campaign is possible, Why does all of this matter?This is clear illustration of what my co-authors and I were pointing out about American parties in : the two major US parties are essentially unique in the degree to which party leadership outsources a key power of parties to an actor it cannot control: the power to select candidates.I have written about this on the blog over the years as well (see here, here, and here, for example).Primaries affect parties internally, by making them nonhierarchical.What Primaries do is to deprive parties, as organized entities, of their vital role in nominating candidates, and by extension, weaken the disciplining authority of party leaders.–Taylor, Shugart, Lijphart, and Grofman (2014), This is what we are currently seeing in the case of Roy Moore’s nomination and the controversy surrounding allegations he engaged in sexual conduct with a 14 year-old when he was 32 (and allegations he dated teenagers on several occasions during that period).
Rather, the process is one of self-selection by candidates, who choose to adopt a party label and run in the primary, which is then validated or rejected by voters on primary day (316). While there are some cases in the US, such as in Virginia and Utah, where the state party conventions can assert power over nominations, the basic fact of the matter is that candidates for office almost universally capture control of their party’s label by winning a primary election.
Overall, though, the evidence presented actually argues against the alleged thesis of the piece.
Quite frankly, I think the author is revealing that he buys into the myth, that many Americans likewise believe, that party elites have substantial power over the nomination process. Also, this quote is telling: Deference is not power–it certainly is not a formalized institution (even if sometimes such behavior can be an informal institution or norm).
To be dispassionate about these very serious allegations for the moment, it is clear that such information in the current climate regarding sexual harassment and misconduct in the past of powerful men creates a serious political problem for the Republican Party.
This is especially true since Moore was already a controversial political figure.