February 21, 2018

Trump, GOP make late push to save unusual in Alabama Senate primary

16 August 2017, 11:49 | Christie Tate

Church of the Highlands polling location in Tuscaloosa

Church of the Highlands polling location in Tuscaloosa

In an impressive show of his statewide appeal to conservatives, Judge Roy Moore seems sure to finish first in tonight's Alabama's special GOP Senate primary to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions's old seat. I mention this because all the polling shows that Big Luther and Mo Brooks are pretty much running against each other to be the guy who runs against Judge Roy Moore, whom they are trying to keep from picking up the 50 percent that would send him, for all intents and purposes, to the United State Senate.

Unusual was Alabama's attorney general before he was appointed to the Senate in February by Gov. Robert Bentley, who soon resigned in scandal. Trump joined the fray in the closing days, tweeting out his surprise endorsement of odd last week - some expected he would stay neutral - and taping a Monday robocall.

Doug Jones, a former US attorney under the Clinton administration, is perhaps the best-known Democrat and is backed by some national party figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden. The top two vote-getters today advance to a runoff election on September 26. That's despite the backing of Trump, a multimillion-dollar ad campaign from McConnell, and the support of the Alabama business community.

On the Republican side, Moore, with almost 41 percent of the vote, was in first place with about two-thirds of votes counted. Then, after being reelected to the court, he was suspended for refusing to enforce a Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. And joining us now to talk about it is Gigi Douban, who is news director of member station WBHM in Birmingham. And Moore raised $306,000, though he did bring in enough to finance an attack ad that referred to McConnell's "D.C. slime machine" for its attacks on Moore.

If Strange is able to narrow the gap with Moore, it could be an indication that Trump helped push his supporters in Strange's direction through his endorsement.

Brooks, who unlike his two top opponents had never been elected statewide, languished in third place for most of the race, but he tried to seize upon the president's fight with McConnell in the closing days to make a run at odd. The Cygnal poll was in the field only one day after President Trump endorsed unusual, so the endorsement's impact was only minimally measured. He recently announced endorsements from more than 50 religious leaders.

TheAssociated Press and the New York Times called the race about two hours after the polls closed.

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Moore, a social conservative provocateur, appealed to the devout Christian element of Alabama's GOP electorate. "But the coup de grace was the endorsement by Trump to say that he was in for odd and that clarifies the Trump people who they can be for", said Flowers. Trump has endorsed Brooks's opponent.

The rollicking primary began with Strange's appointment by then-Gov.

"I don't know if there is such a thing as party unity within the Republican Party", Sharon Denham, the president of the North Jefferson County Republican Club, told the Times.

If Moore wins the September runoff, his history of controversial stands in favor of his understanding of Christianity and its role in public life could become a major headache for Senate Republicans.

Jeff Sessions' appointment to Attorney General left his seat vacant.

Aside from being a neighbor, Wright said, he likes the way the ousted judge conducted his campaign. And the general election won't be until December. And there was a robocall that went out to Alabama voters from the president endorsing odd as well.

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