The polls are now open in Alabama, where a Trumpist revolution may be rising up against the personal pick of President Donald Trump.
Luther Strange, the Republican incumbent, faces former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore in a special primary runoff to determine who will finish out Jeff Session’s term in the U.S. Senate.
Trump has sided with Senate Republicans who are attempting to preserve one of their own, while former Trump advisor Steve Bannon has sided with Moore.
Trump may be losing control of his own brand. From the Associated Press:
Trailing in the polls, Strange has looked to the White House to help make up ground against Moore, who is best known for defiant stands against gay marriage and for the public display of the Ten Commandments. Vice President Mike Pence campaigned for Strange in Birmingham, Alabama, while Bannon, speaking at a Moore rally, argued Moore is a better fit for Trump’s “populist” movement.
“All of Washington is watching to see what Alabama does,” Moore said at a south Alabama rally attended by Bannon, Brexit leader Nigel Farage, and “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson.
The video of Bannon is worth watching in its entirety:
Trump appeared with Strange in Huntsville on Friday, and worked the phones on Monday. Again, from AP:
“Luther Strange is going to be a great senator. He already has, and he has already helped me,” Trump said on the “Rick & Bubba” radio show. Trump predicted that Moore, whom he mistakenly called “Ray,” would have a “hard time” in the December election against Doug Jones. A Democrat, Jones is a lawyer and former U.S. attorney during the Clinton administration.
And there’s always Twitter, of course. From the White House this morning:
Luther Strange has been shooting up in the Alabama polls since my endorsement. Finish the job – vote today for “Big Luther.”
A Moore victory could send shudders through Washington, where GOP leaders worry that the most conservative elements of their party could be encouraged to mount primary challenges to congressional Republicans across the board.