The Alabama primary saw a kind of resurrection for Mo Brooks' political fortunes. After Trump very publicly rescinded his endorsement on March 23-- when he saw that Brooks had fallen into third place and could embarrass him with a loss-- Brooks looked like road-kill. At the time Trump said "When I endorsed Mo Brooks, he took a 44-point lead and was unstoppable. He then hired a new campaign staff who ‘brilliantly’ convinced him to ‘stop talking about the 2020 Election.' Very sad but, since he decided to go in another direction, so have I, and I am hereby withdrawing my Endorsement of Mo Brooks for the Senate. I don’t think the great people of Alabama will disagree with me. Election Fraud must be captured and stopped, or we won’t have a Country anymore." Brooks struck back at Trump bit but then figured he could get into the runoff or even the general and would need Trump again, so he began talking up Trump's Big Lie.
As expected, the May 24 primary did not yield a nominee but did eliminate Michael Durant, who had not long ago been polling in first place and nearly won Trump's endorsement.
Katie Britt- 288,762 (44.7%)
Mo Brooks- 188,126 (29.2%)
Michael Durant- 150,520 (23.3%)
That means the nominee will be selected in a June 21 runoff between Britt who won 62 counties out of Alabama's 67, and Brooks who only won 5, all up in the part of the state he represents in the House, although he also lost some of the counties he represents.
Early this morning, Natalie Allison, reported that Trump is considering re-endorsing Brooks, in part because he saw Brooks pick a fight with a Fox News host about the Big Lie, claiming that the election was stolen from Trump. Bannon posted "Mo Brooks FINALLY GOT THE MEMO!!!!!!"
But it's a complicated situation and more than anything Trump would like to be seen as the kingmaker in the race. However, the front-runner, Katie Britt, is McConnell's candidate, while Brooks campaigns on not voting for McConnell as leader.
Trump “hasn’t made a decision yet” about intervening in the runoff, said the person close to the president, adding that it’s unlikely Trump sits out. If Trump were to turn around and re-endorse Brooks, he could make the argument that pulling the endorsement two months ago “taught him a lesson,” the person said, and that “Mo got straight and has been very strong since” on his rhetoric about the 2020 election.
...Britt, however, has not sought to champion Trump’s stolen-election narrative. She has carefully answered questions about the issue by suggesting there were problems with election integrity and that a “nationwide forensic audit” should be conducted, but stopped short of declaring that Biden’s victory was fraudulent.
The former president of the Business Council of Alabama, Britt drew sharp criticism from Trump last summer, but has since worked to earn his respect. Trump last July called Britt the “assistant” of “the RINO Senator from Alabama,” referring to Shelby, and said she was “not what our Country needs.” After Trump announced in March that he was rescinding his support for Brooks, however, he said he would be issuing a new endorsement in the race, referring to either Britt or Durant.
But the primary came and went without a new endorsement.
For Trump, Alabama is an important state to get right in the wake of a series of losses in three gubernatorial primaries. It’s a conservative bastion that he easily won twice, but where his endorsement record is mixed-- and in need of vindication.
In the state’s 2017 Republican Senate primary special election, Trump’s endorsed candidate, appointed Sen. Luther Strange, fell short. Trump then threw his support behind GOP nominee Roy Moore in the general election, only for Moore to lose to Democrat Doug Jones amid a series of sexual misconduct allegations.
...Brooks is at a significant fundraising disadvantage compared with Britt, who had more than four times Brooks’ cash on hand as of mid-May. He is backed by the anti-tax Club for Growth, however, which has so far spent $5.5 million on ads in the Senate race-- including $1 million reserved through the runoff. On Thursday, the super PAC cut more than a half-million dollars from its runoff ad reservations.
The primary drew just 23% of registered voters and the runoff is expected to draw far fewer. Who will turn out-- and where Durant's voters will gravitate if they vote at all-- will determine who Alabama's next senator will be, although Brooks could wind up winning the primary and then being disqualified as ineligible to run under the 14th Amendment because of his participation in Trump's coup. That would be funny-- and the second time Alabama elects a Democrat because the GOP nominee has been too extreme.
Does it matter which one wins? Not too much; both will vote identically. But one is a fascist (Brooks) and the other is a conservative (Britt). Brooks will be more like Ted Cruz, Tommy Tuberville and Josh Hawley and Britt will be more like Joni Ernst, who endorsed her this week, McConnell and, of corse, her old boss, Richard Shelby, who she hopes to replace.