● AL-Sen: With less than a month to go before the Aug. 15 GOP Senate primary, we finally have a proper poll. Cygnal, on behalf of several unnamed “businesses and associations,” gives appointed Sen. Luther Strange the lead with 33 percent, while Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, beats Rep. Mo Brooks 26-16 for second. In the likely event that no one takes a majority, there will be a primary runoff in September.
Aside from rumored tidbits, this is the first and only complete poll we’ve ever seen here, so we don’t have anything to compare it to. However, Strange and his allies at the Senate Leadership Fund, a well-funded super PAC close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have been spending aggressively while Brooks and Moore have little outside support, so it’s not unreasonable to see the senator
At least one of those seekrit polls, though, indicated that the real battle was between Brooks and Strange for the second runoff spot, which explains why Team Strange has been training its fire on Brooks while ignoring Moore. That assault has come in the form of running ad after ad featuring footage of the congressman dissing Donald Trump during last year’s presidential primary. The commercials have even argued that Brooks, who was backing Ted Cruz, sided with Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren over Trump.
Brooks seems to have finally decided that there’s no way he can win a “who loves Donald the mostest” contest, so he’s switched tactics and instead come to the defense of former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s “beleaguered” attorney general—with some truly remarkable rhetoric:
“I support President Trump’s policies, but this public waterboarding of one of the greatest people Alabama has ever produced is inappropriate and insulting to the people of Alabama who know Jeff Sessions so well and elected him so often by overwhelming margins.”