Steve Bannon got a scalp in Alabama when Judge Roy Moore defeated incumbent Sen. Luther Strange and all of Washington trembled. They feared the Fox News-watching, Breitbart-reading horde, the uncouth portion of the electorate that actually hates globalism and believes in nationalism.
Those fears might be a bit premature. One primary upset does not an invincible kingmaker make. There's trouble in the ranks of the populist block that's eager to remake the world and thereby the U.S. Senate. While Bannon wants to make Moore's upset victory against Strange a template for insurgents everywhere, that plan could be in tatters because the money isn't coming through.
In two key races, the powerful Mercer family has thrown their support to Bannon's opponents. The Mercer family maxed out donations to Rep. Evan Jenkins against Bannon-backed Attorney General Patrick Morrissey in the West Virginia Senate primary. And the wealthy and influential family certainly won't be supporting the comeback campaign of recently released federal prisoner and former New York GOP Rep. Michael Grimm.
Does that mean that without Mercer money Bannon won't be a threat? Not at all. But it does mean that Bannon might not be able to run roughshod over establishment Republicans just yet.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.