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Alabama: Donald Trump Isn’t Moving The Needle

Pay attention, Henry McMaster …

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U.S. president Donald Trump’s trip to Alabama didn’t help U.S. Senator Luther Strange, the choice of the “Republican” establishment to replace attorney general Jeff Sessions in the “Heart of Dixie.”

Don’t believe us?  Ask the pollster who predicted Trump’s shocking upset victory last fall …

According to the latest data from The Trafalgar Group, whose polls are conducted by GOP strategist Robert Cahaly, Strange is still trailing former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore.  Badly …

Moore, a strident social conservative, is currently drawing the support of 57 percent of GOP primary voters – well ahead of Strange’s 41 percent.  That’s nearly double Moore’s edge in the most recent Real Clear Politics spread, which had him leading Strange by 8.8 percentage points.

What gives?

“When the candidate’s credentials and background match what made you like the president, the president’s words don’t change your mind on a candidate,” Cahaly told reporter Joshua Jamerson of The Wall Street Journal, which reported exclusively on the results of his poll. “They like the president, and the support the president, they just think he’s wrong on this.  They see Moore as their guy.”

Cahaly’s poll was conducted Saturday and Sunday, and included 1,073 likely Alabama GOP primary voters.  Its margin of error was plus or minus 2.98 percent.

Why do we care about this race?  Well, as we noted in our coverage last month, Trump’s endorsement is expected to figure prominently in next spring’s “Republican” primary election for governor of South Carolina.

Incumbent GOP governor Henry McMaster – who is running for a full, four-year term next June – owes his job to Trump.  And after a rockier than expected start to his 2018 gubernatorial campaign, the aging establishment politician is once again relying on Trump to pull his political irons out of the fire.

Trump’s appointment of former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley to serve as his ambassador to the United Nations paved the way for McMaster to become governor of the Palmetto State back in January.  It was also supposed to have cleared the field for him in the 2018 “Republican” gubernatorial election.

Things haven’t turned out that way … at all.

McMaster has been badly damaged by his proximity to an ongoing multi-jurisdictional investigation into corruption in state government.  As a result, he has drawn multiple credible challengers – most notably one from Lowcountry attorney Catherine Templeton.

McMaster’s one saving grace?  Trump … who is supposed to come to the Palmetto State this fall and endorse his flagging gubernatorial bid.

Memo to McMaster’s campaign: Better have a “plan B.”

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