As Alabama Republicans prepare to choose the person they want to represent them in the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Aug. 15, (if no one achieves 50 percent, there will be a Sep. 26 runoff between the top two), they are faced with three viable contenders out of the nine candidates running: Luther Strange, Roy Moore, and state representative Mo Brooks.
Strange was Alabama’s attorney general until he was appointed by then-governor Robert Bentley to Sessions’ seat. The state Ethics Commission has scheduled a hearing for Aug. 16, which is the day after the first round of voting, as they look into charges of campaign finance violations by Strange. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a supporter of Strange.
And then there’s Moore, who was removed as chief justice of the state Supreme Court twice. The first time was in 2003 for defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court regarding religious displays in government buildings. The second time was last year after he was re-elected; he was suspended for defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding same-sex marriages.
Then, along comes Brooks, a conservative stalwart of the House Freedom Caucus who began wholeheartedly supporting Trump after having been chairman of Ted Cruz’s 2016 Alabama campaign. McConnell and Strange have been running millions of dollars of falsified attack ads inaccurately accusing Brooks of being anti-Trump. But no one believes that.
Brooks was at the baseball practice when House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, along with others, was injured on June 14. He even used audio from the attack at the GOP baseball practice in one of his campaign ads proclaiming his gun rights agenda. Another of his ads states that he will fight to have the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border funded, even if that means a government shutdown.
Electing Brooks or even Moore would let the GOP establishment know that by not picking their favored candidate, Alabama is loyal to those who are loyal to President Trump.
In fact, a new poll published in Breitbart News by JMC Analytics, a Louisiana-based polling firm, shows Luther Strange tapering off in the polls as Brooks surges behind him, and Moore with a strong lead.
The poll shows Moore at 30 percent, Strange at 22 percent, and Brooks at 19 percent. Others combine for a total of 12 percent, while 17 percent are undecided. The poll of 500 Alabamians likely to vote in next Tuesday’s primary was conducted from August 5 to August 6—over the weekend—with a 95 percent confidence interval and a margin of error of 4.4 percent. Assuming these numbers are accurate, they show Brooks surging behind Strange inside the margin of error in the final days—a silent majority similar to the one that elected President Donald Trump—while Moore maintains a solid lead at the top.
Both Brooks and Moore have condemned the misleading ads, which come from the Senate Leadership Fund in Alabama, and they’re led by Steven Law, who is notoriously anti-Trump.
Trump’s top campaign official in Alabama joined the Brooks campaign, and most of Trump’s national supporters – from Women for Trump to Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Mark Levin – have endorsed Brooks.
Moore is a strong conservative who also supports the president. Choosing Moore and Brooks to challenge each other in a runoff election would let the failed GOP leadership in the U.S. Congress know it is time to back President Trump and his agenda. It would also set a national precedent, which would tell everyone running for office that if they want to win elections, they need to promote Trump’s agenda.
Pollster John Couvillon told Breitbart News the poll shows that Strange’s lack of support for the Trump agenda has made it hard for him to connect to voters in Alabama.
“Despite his incumbency and up to $8 million dollars being spent on his behalf (appointed) Senator Luther Strange is struggling to connect with GOP primary voters in Alabama,” Couvillon said in an email.
In the JMC poll’s analysis page, there is a key quote that further explains it all:
In summary, former Chief Justice Roy Moore appears to be a cinch for the September 26 runoff, while the other runoff slot is a close race between appointed incumbent Luther Strange (who is being hurt by the perceived connection to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) and Congressman “Mo” Brooks.
Just after Strange was appointed to the Senate by Bentley, it turns out that he was conducting an investigation into Bentley while he was governor over a scandal that later forced Bentley’s resignation. In fact, Bentley resigned right after appointing Strange to the seat. So, in addition to his connections to McConnell and the very anti-Trump Senate Leadership Fund attacking Moore (which isn’t working), Strange is failing on all levels.
Brooks, however, is surging, just like Trump did in the final week, or so, before each of his electoral wins in the primary and general elections. And if Brooks gets into the runoff with Moore, as now appears possible, it signals a major win for conservatives. Alabama’s race is definitely one to watch.