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Alabama voters aren’t Trump’s sheep

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Alabama is a state where Trump won by 28 points over Hillary. There are a lot of Alabama jokes and stereotypes out there all trying to make Alabamans seem like toothless, uneducated, hillbillies who, if white, are racist. This stereotype is often how the elitists on the left view Trump voters. However, the primary to replace Jeff Sessions shows the Alabamans are unwilling to follow Trump in an instance where he intervenes. Trump endorsed Luthor Strange for Alabama’s primary. Strange was the appointed replacement for Sessions in order to keep his seat warm for the special election. In a three-way race, Judge Roy Moore came out on top with Strange in second. With Moore not reaching a majority, there will be a runoff. Congressman Mo Brooks will not be on the nomination in the second round.

Strange coming in second shows that Trump’s endorsement had a limited impact. The Alabamans had two anti-establishment candidates, Moore and Brooks(although his lengthy tenure in the House says otherwise.) Strange was endorsed and supported by Mitch McConnell, a republican poster child for the establishment. Trump’s endorsement failed to outshine the bold character of Roy Moore. The runoff election would be more interesting had Moore come in second to Strange. But as it stands now, Moore has more support than Strange, and Trump can’t change that. While Moore hadn’t shown his establishment colors all that much, the backing of Mitch McConnell was a red flag to many voters. This means that many Alabamans aren’t willing to trust an establishment candidate just because Trump says so.

Moving forward, expect the votes from third place contender, Mo Brooks, to flock to Moore. Brooks is a Trump supporter and strong advocate for repealing Obamacare. Much of his support came from his House district, anyway. Brook’s stronger stances would indicate his supporters would more likely support Moore than Strange. Luthor Strange has an uphill battle coming up. Trump’s endorsement simply isn’t meaningful enough. Moore is a stronger candidate that is well-known and well-loved among Alabaman conservatives. Trump’s influence wasn’t enough to dissuade voters the first time and likely won’t be the second time. Mitch McConnell’s endorsement is a campaign poison Trump couldn’t remedy. While Trump has campaigned well in Alabama, it appears voters are refusing to blindly support Trump. It appears that voters are sticking to small government conservative principles even when Trump sides with the establishment. The people of Alabama are choosing a fiery disruptive former judge rather than the business as usual candidate. The people of Alabama are voting based on their values and Trump isn’t changing that.

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