Amid the noise about National Anthem protests, there is an election happening today in the state of Alabama. Today marks the runoff election between the two top Republican candidates in the GOP primary to replace Senator Jeff Sessions, who was appointed Attorney General by President Trump. The candidates are divided between the warring factions of the GOP, namely that of the establishment side including Mitch McConnell, and that of the nationalist side including Steve Bannon, Trump’s recently departed chief political strategist and Breitbart extraordinaire.
Sen. Luther Strange is currently holding the seat as he was appointed by the Governor to replace Sessions, and has been backed by Senator Mitch McConnell and the President. Judge Roy Moore is challenging him for the spot, running as the populist outsider with the backing of Steve Bannon and other anti-establishment groups. So far, Moore is running away with the polling as of today.
The New York Post pits the race as Bannon vs. Trump:
Sen. Luther Strange and challenger Roy Moore made their final push Monday to sway voters ahead of Alabama’s Republican runoff for U.S. Senate, a race that’s pitted President Donald Trump against his former strategist, Steve Bannon.
Trump called an Alabama radio show Monday to urge support for Strange in Tuesday’s runoff for the GOP nomination, and Vice President Mike Pence campaigned for Strange in Birmingham while Bannon spoke at a Moore rally at the coast.
Taking the stage to prolonged applause, Bannon said Alabama can show the world “that this populist, nationalist, conservative movement is on the rise.”
Bannon lashed out at negative ads funded by allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Bannon said Republican “elites” had put millions of dollars into the Alabama race “to destroy a man.”
“Now is that going to work?” Bannon asked. “No!” the crowd roared. Bannon added that those same GOP leaders “think you’re a bunch of morons” and “rubes.”
Wearing a white cowboy hat and a black leather vest, former chief justice Moore repeated the conservative Christian themes that he has used his entire public career, quoting Bible passages and Colonial leaders at length.
“All of Washington is watching to see what Alabama does tomorrow,” Moore said.
Minutes ago, the President continued his support for Strange, urging his supporters to get out and vote for him:
Well, as you can see from RCP, Strange will need all the help he can get, because Moore is mopping the the floor with him:
Today’s winner still has to beat a Democratic opponent in a December 12th election. But this is deep-red Alabama, so the Republican nominee is basically a shoe-in.
Polls close in Alabama at 8pm ET, 7pm CT.