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To turn this back to Moore: clearly if GOP elites had had a say in the matter, Luther Strange would have been the nominee.After all, Moore has a controversial past having been removed from the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore’s refusal to bow out of Alabama’s special election for a Senate seat is the latest demonstration of the diminished power of congressional leaders and other, once-powerful institutions in Washington.The parties are decided nonhierarchical and this in formalized in the rules that dictate who gets to have the “Republican Party” or “Democratic Party” appended to their name on ballot.As such, we are seeing how our institutional have been designed and they are functioning as we should expect.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).The laws of the state of Alabama stand in the way of action as we see in Alabama Code Title 17.Elections § 17-6-21 It is too late to make a ballot change.
It also means that voters are driven into binary choices. if one cannot understand how a social conservative could still vote for Moore, remember that many of them think that abortion is representative of a contemporary holocaust and they know that Doug Jones (the Democratic nominee) is pro-choice, and Moore is decidedly anti-abortion.
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.
Sure, sometimes elites could influence outcomes (they still can).
But the to nominate in firmly in the hands of primary voters.
Note that they run in the primary contest without any need to appease party leadership.