Both Republican candidates in the Alabama Senate race are bringing in heavy hitters to rally their supporters on the eve of the GOP runoff.
Republican voters head to the polls Tuesday to choose between former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat after former Sen. Jeff Sessions became attorney general. Both candidates will hold rallies on the eve of the election, highlighting outside forces that are backing their campaigns.
Strange has the support of GOP leadership, including President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump held a campaign rally for Strange on Friday and Vice President Mike Pence will be in the Yellowhammer State on Monday.
Pence will headline a rally for Strange Monday night at 7 pm Central Time at HealthSouth Aviation in Birmingham, where Strange was born.
Strange has been trailing Moore in recent public polls. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Moore with a 10-point lead. So Strange has been emphasizing his ties to Trump, who is extremely popular in Alabama.
“Voters in Alabama value the President and Vice-President’s endorsements and it is their strong support that will lead to a victory for our great state on September 26th,” Strange said in a Friday statement.
But some of Trump’s former advisers are backing Moore. Current Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson also praised Moore but stopped short of a formal endorsement. The pro-Trump Moore backers are creating an unusual dynamic where some of Trump’s supporters are campaigning against his pick in the race.
On Monday night, nearly 300 miles south of Strange’s rally, Moore and his supporters will gather at Oak Hollow Farm near Mobile for what Moore’s campaign has dubbed a “Faith and Family Rally.”
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon will attend the rally, along with Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the family that stars in the “Duck Dynasty” reality show. British politician Nigel Farage, who helped lead the movement for Britain to withdraw from the European Union, will also attend Monday night’s rally. Farage is an ardent Trump supporter.
Both campaigns are working on turning out their voters on Tuesday, in what is expected to be a low turnout election. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told the Montgomery Adviser that his office was expecting between 12 and 15 percent of voters to head to the polls.