As Oscar Wilde once said, “There’s only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
Struggling for relevance in next week’s Alabama GOP Senate primary, Congressman Mo Brooks is beginning to appreciate what Wilde was saying.
After a month of battling criticism from supporters of sitting Sen. Luther Strange, the Huntsville Republican is receiving what POLITICO reporter Daniel Strauss calls the “worst sign of all” … attacks against him are beginning to slow down.
Strange and the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC connected to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are now turning most of their negative advertising to attack former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in advance of Tuesday’s primary.
It is a clear sign that Brooks’ “outspent, insurgent campaign” may have stalled against candidates with better name recognition.
“I’ve seen a number of polls, and every poll I’ve seen has Luther leading Roy Moore by between 3 and 5 points. Mo at one time was up to about 20 [percent],” Perry Hooper, former co-chairman of the Alabama Trump campaign (and a Strange supporter) told POLITICO. “The last I’ve seen has him at 15, 16 [percent]. I guess anything can happen, but the trend looks like people like what Luther has been doing.”
Indeed, the Montgomery Advertiser reported Friday on a most recent poll of 426 likely Republican voters, with Moore hanging onto a narrow lead over Strange, 31 percent to 29 percent. The race for first place was within the poll’s 5 percent margin of error.
Brooks came in third at 18 percent; state Sen. Trip Pittman of Baldwin County received 8 percent, and Alabama Christian Coalition president Randy Brinson took 2 percent. Eleven percent are undecided.
Other Republican candidates on the ballot include Dr. James Beretta, Joseph Breault, Mary Maxwell and Bryan Peeples.
The race will most likely result in a Sept. 26 runoff between the two top vote-getters, since it appears that neither Strange nor Moore will receive a majority.
The last day for Alabama voters to apply for an absentee ballot for the primary is Thursday.