Judge Roy Moore remains in a strong position to win Alabama’s special election Republican primary next month to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat in the U.S. senate.
Recent polling shows the former state chief justice polling at 28 percent to the Washington establishment’s choice in the race –recently appointed Sen. Luther Strange — who is garnering 23 percent, followed by Congressman Mo Brooks at 21 percent.
Veteran national conservative columnist and Mobile resident Quin Hillyer told Western Journalism that whatever Moore’s public poll numbers are, they are “his floor and not his ceiling” for the actual election day results on Aug. 15.
“My best estimate, based on Alabama voting history, is that Roy Moore is seriously under-polling compared to what he will actually get,” Hillyer said.
“Moore’s voters are enthusiastic and they are organized and they will turn out, even in what otherwise will be a low-turnout election,” he added.
Hillyer said Strange and Brooks are battling it out to to face Moore in the run-off which will take place Sept. 26 if no candidate manages to get over 50 percent.
Hillyer added that Moore’s would-be competitors, and their supporters, are going after each other with such ferocity it is getting close to the point of turning people off.
As reported by Western Journalism, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has placed his full support behind Strange.
McConnell indicated earlier this month that he does not want to add a conservative rebel — clearly a reference to Moore and perhaps Brooks — to a GOP conference already “difficult to manage.”
The Washington Examiner reports two McConnell affiliated super PACs — Senate Leadership Fund and One Nation — plan to spend up to $10 million to back Strange.
Ads from the PACs have been filling the Alabama airwaves in recent weeks with spots in support of Strange and hammering Brooks.
Steven Hotze, president of Restore Our Godly Heritage PAC, which is supporting Moore, believes Strange and Brooks focusing on hitting each other sends a clear message.
“They already assent to the fact that Roy Moore is going to be in the runoff, so they are fighting for second place,” he told Western Journalism.
Hotze likes Moore because “he’s proven his mettle in battle.”
“He’s shown the courage of his Christian convictions,” the conservative activist added. “Even to his own detriment, but to God’s glory.”
The Restore Our Godly Heritage PAC recently released an ad in support of Moore, which is part of its online fundraising push.
Moore turned in strong fundraising numbers, given his later entry into the race, raising more than $305,000 from approximately 2,800 donors in a little more than two months.
Ninety-one percent of the donations were $100 or less, according to Alabama Political Reporter.
“This race isn’t going to be decided by a Washington lobbyists cutting big checks,” said Moore. “It is going to be decided by the retired veteran sending in $50 from his Social Security check, by the single mom who wants to see Alabama’s economy grow so she can her children a better life and goes online to give $25. This is going to be won by the people of Alabama. Not the swamp dwellers of Washington.”
By contrast, Strange has raised $2.7 million since taking office in February and Brooks has $1.3 million on hand, largely due to funds left over from his congressional campaign last fall.
Hillyer believes regardless of who wins the right to face Moore in September, the former chief justice will likely prevail in the race.
“If I had to lay money on it, I say Moore beats Strange like 55 or 56 to 44 or 45,” he said. “If it’s Brooks, I think he holds Moore to a much closer race, but I still think Moore beats him.”
The winner of the Republican primary is highly favored to win the general election in the deep red state on Dec. 12.
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