New polling shows tight race for Roy Moore, Luther Strange in GOP Senate primary

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As the contentious Alabama U.S. Senate race heats up, new polling shows a tight contest between former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and sitting U.S. Sen. Luther Strange.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports on a new poll of 426 likely Republican voters showing Moore holding a narrow lead over Strange, 31 percent to 29 percent. The numbers were within the poll’s 5 percent margin of error.

Huntsville Republican Congressman Mo Brooks comes in third at 18 percent, with state Sen. Trip Pittman of Baldwin County gets 8 percent and Alabama Christian Coalition president Randy Brinson with 2 percent. Eleven percent are undecided.

Other Republican candidates on the ballot include Dr. James Beretta, Joseph Breault, Mary Maxwell and Bryan Peeples

Meanwhile, SuperPAC’s are preparing ahead of the Aug. 15 Republican special primary.

Senate Leadership Fund, the committee linked to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has banked over $1.5 million in 26 days in July. SLF has been spending heavily to back Strange, appointed to the Senate seat in February after Jeff Sessions stepped down to become Donald Trump’s Attorney General.

According to Federal Election Commission reports, mostly through a $1 million check from hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen and $250,000 from Phil Ruffin, owner of the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Most of SuperPAC’s attention in the race has been focused on Brooks, attacking him for lack of fidelity to then-candidate Donald Trump, who later carried Alabama easily in the 2016 presidential race.

Recently, the group opened up a second front with some new attack ads targeting Moore, a popular far-right social conservative.

The National Rifle Association of America Political Victory Fund also reported spending $43,117 on radio ads to boost Strange, according to a newly filed independent expenditure report dated Aug. 2.

The race will most likely result in a Sept. 26 runoff between the two top vote getters, since it appears that no single candidate will receive a majority.

The last day to apply for an absentee ballot for the primary is Thursday, Aug. 10.

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