The Alabama Senate primary is over, with the Decision Desk officially calling it: We’ll be heading to a September runoff.
We project no candidate will reach the 50% in the AL GOP Senate primary. Roy Moore & Luther Strange will advance to the 9/26 runoff.
— Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) August 16, 2017
It should be noted however that Moore came out on top over Strange, who was the pick of both Donald Trump AND Mitch McConnell – given the rhetoric over the last couple of weeks, that made them odd bedfellows. Strange currently holds the Senate seat, which he was appointed to after Jeff Sessions took the Attorney General job.
Moore one one of two conservative candidates that most activists preferred. The other, Congressman Mo Brooks, came in third place. Brooks was a victim of attacks from the NRSC at McConnell’s behest.
If Strange couldn’t pick up 50% of the vote last night, he’s in trouble. A lot of Brooks’ support will more than likely end up with Moore, as they were both good, conservative options, and that seemed to resonate with voters. Also take into consideration that Strange currently has the seat, and conservatives who want Obamacare gone see the Senate as the place where that failed. Fresh blood could be the voters’ solution.
In Alabama, it is highly unlikely that the Democrats have a shot at the seat. To spend any resources there is a silly idea. For the Republicans, however, it is fast becoming a choice between a conservative and well-respected former chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, and someone that Mitch McConnell backs and clearly sees as an ally.
The latter is far more important than the former, as it is imperative that we keep McConnell from keeping or gaining any more power in the Senate. The fact that Moore is a solid conservative absolutely helps, and it is highly likely that McConnell is going to have his allies dump as much opposition research on Moore as possible. That is what they did to Mo Brooks, and the bitterness there is so deep that McConnell’s allies are actively pushing a primary opponent in Brooks’ race for his House seat.