The conservative group Club for Growth has endorsed Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn University football coach, over former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in the Alabama Senate Republican primary runoff.
The organization's president, David McIntosh, told Politico, although the Club for Growth considers both candidates to be strong conservatives, President Donald Trump's strong preference for Tuberville made the decision clear.
"I think both of them can win, but I think if Trump is not fully on board it becomes harder. And he's made it clear that Tuberville is his pick," McIntosh said.
"Looking forward to the fall, we have to make sure that we win this general election and beat [Alabama Democratic Sen.] Doug Jones," he continued. "Everyone is saying, 'It's so Republican, we should be able to do that.' But if we're split because Trump is on the other side and doesn't really like Sessions, that could make it very hard."
The organization spent heavily in the race before the state's primary March 3, but much of that went toward negative ads targeting Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., who finished third.
"If the polls shift the way we anticipate they are, we might need to do less," McIntosh said, noting that the group commissioned a poll last week that shows Tuberville with a slight advantage over Sessions. "If they don't, and it's a close race, we'll do more."
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