As the Alabama Senate race heads into its final stretch, incumbent Luther Strange may need a lot of help from Washington to have a chance. Three polls show the senator trailing former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore by double digits. Two more show Strange behind, but within the margin of error.
Strange continues to run as the apparent establishment choice. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared at a Strange fundraiser in Washington D.C. on Thursday. Earlier this week, Strange sent a letter to McConnell calling for an end to the 60-vote rule regarding filibusters in the Senate, a measure supported by the Trump administration. Strange defended the rule in April, but has now sided with the president on the issue. Trump endorsed Strange’s campaign last month.
While Strange is running as the pick of the administration, Moore has been presenting himself as the hardcore conservative choice. An ideological divide among voters is apparent in the most recent poll, in which Moore is leading among voters who identify as conservative by 58 percent to 32 percent. Strange, meanwhile, is pulling in 49 percent of moderate voters to Moore’s 39. The poll, conducted by Southeast Research, has Strange trailing by 16 points overall. Moore led Strange by twenty-five thousand votes in the primary but lacked an overall majority to claim the win.
Strange will face Moore in a runoff on September 26. The winner is expected to be a heavy favorite over Democratic nominee and former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in the general election.