Tags: Donald Trump | Jeff Sessions | Trump Administration | luther strange | alabama | senate | special election

Can Trump Admin Save Ala. Sen. Strange From Defeat Tuesday?

Image: Can Trump Admin Save Ala. Sen. Strange From Defeat Tuesday?
Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala. (Rex Features/AP)

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Monday, 21 August 2017 06:48 PM Current | Bio | Archive

President Donald Trump will jet Friday to Huntsville, Alabama, on what state and national Republican operatives privately call a "rescue mission" – an attempt to keep Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to office when Sen. Jeff Sessions was named U.S. Attorney General earlier this year, from losing Tuesday's election.

Next week, Vice President Mike Pence will weigh in with an appearance on behalf of "Big Luther," so nicknamed because he is the tallest U.S. senator (6 feet, 9 inches) in history. On almost a daily basis, likely voters receive at least one letter from the political action committee of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urging a vote for Strange and slamming opponent and former state Chief Justice Roy Moore as a "career politician."

Although the two contenders disagree on little, Moore's credentials as an "outsider" will be enhanced next week by appearances on his behalf by Sarah Palin and former White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka.

With Alabama Republicans to select a nominee Tuesday for the special election to fill the remainder of Sessions' term, a just-completed JMC Analytics poll showed Strange trailing the controversial Moore by a margin of 49 percent to 37 percent statewide.

"That means the race is tightening up from what it was," Marty Connors, former state Republican chairman, told Newsmax, noting Moore had led Strange in the initial nine-candidate primary, and a JMC poll in August had Moore up by 51 percent to 32 percent.

"The appearances by the president on Friday and by [Vice President] Mike Pence on Monday are certainly going to help Luther," Connors said. "But I have to say that if Luther had been able to cast the deciding vote for, say, repealing Obamacare, or if tax reform had been enacted, he'd be tied or ahead of Judge Moore now."

Connors feels Strange's precarious state in the polls is due to frustration by Republicans with a Congress they control seemingly unable to do anything. The antithesis of the political establishment, he added, is Moore, twice removed as chief justice (once for refusing to remove a monument bearing the Ten Commandments and later for telling county clerks to disregard the U.S. Supreme Court ruling permitting same-sex marriage).

"You remember how Trump said he could shoot someone in broad daylight and people would still vote for him?" Republican State Executive Committeeman Keith Hall of Mountain Brook, Birmingham, told us. "That's Roy Moore right there. He's defied the law twice, paid the price for it with his removal from the bench, and he leads in the polls."

In the initial primary, Hall supported Rep. Mo Brooks, a strong conservative who placed third behind Moore and Strange. Now, he says, he will vote for Moore.

"Trump will have an impact, and he could make it close," said Shaun McCutcheon, head of a Birmingham electrical engineering company and Trump delegate to the 2016 GOP national convention. "But the image of Judge Moore that are being generated by [McConnell's PAC] doesn't really fit him and is turning off grass-roots conservatives. In this case Moore looks more like the outsider who will shake things up, and it appears Alabama voters still want those type candidates."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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President Donald Trump will jet Friday to Huntsville, Alabama, on what state and national Republican operatives privately call a "rescue mission," an attempt to keep Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to office when Sen. Jeff Sessions was named U.S. AG.
luther strange, alabama, senate, special election
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2017-48-21
Monday, 21 August 2017 06:48 PM
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