Pundits are furiously assessing the broader consequences of the Democrats’ upset Senate victory in Alabama on Tuesday, but there is less there than meets the eye. True, the Republican Senate majority now hangs by a thread, forcing even harder fights for every legislative victory.
Nonetheless, Republican chances for major gains in November 2018, perhaps six or seven Senate seats, remain strong. Moreover, Democrat Al Franken is resigning his seat any day now because of sexual misconduct charges, bringing another totally unexpected Republican opportunity.
Of course, any statewide Democratic victory in Alabama is stunning, but there were also stunning reasons for it. Republican Roy Moore was a flawed candidate even before allegations of sexual misconduct emerged – and he still lost by just one percentage point.