Trump Could Win Even If He Loses in Alabama

Trump Could Win Even If He Loses in Alabama
NBC News ^ | September 24, 2017 | Alex Seitz-Wald

Posted on 9/24/2017, 6:06:52 PM by 2ndDivisionVet

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Alabama Republicans have a choice between a Trump-like outsider and a Trump-backed insider Tuesday in a closely watched Senate GOP runoff that has the potential to wreak havoc on the Senate Republicans’ narrow majority.

In a fitting conclusion to a sometimes nasty battle, supporters of GOP establishment-backed interim Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., are expected to rally on the eve of the election with Vice President Mike Pence. On the other side of the state, backers of insurgent candidate Roy Moore will stump with Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and controversial “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson.

Trump is taking a risk backing Strange, whom he campaigned for Friday night here, but many see far more upside potential for the president than downside. If Strange wins, Trump will be credited for turning the tide, engineering an upset, and saving an incumbent — earning goodwill with GOP lawmakers.

If Moore prevails, Trump will be dinged for falling short in pulling his candidate across the line. But at the same time, it will be read as a sign of anti-GOP establishment strength, a movement acting in Trump’s name, regardless of his endorsement in this race. The president still remains perhaps their best and only hope in D.C. for change.

His support for Strange, as the president has made explicit, is about personal loyalty to him, not about ideology.

Trump, who has flirted with endorsing primary challenges to incumbent Republicans and regularly vents his frustration with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seems comfortable emboldening, or at least not squashing, Bannon-ite primaries.

And Moore backers, who can’t bring themselves to believe Trump really means it with Strange, would be eager to have the president back on their side…..

(Excerpt)

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