Alabama Senate GOP primary candidate Katie Britt was unable to clinch 50% support in May's initial primary, but with former President Donald Trump's endorsement, she is pulling away from Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., before Tuesday's runoff.
"The strength of President Trump's endorsement is unprecedented and is propelling Katie Britt to victory," Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told The Washington Post on Sunday.
"Mo had a chance, but he turned his back on MAGA. Consequentially, MAGA has followed President Trump to support Katie."
Britt won 44% of the initial primary vote to Brooks' 29%, but now the former chief of staff for retiring Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is polling close to 60% support, with Brooks around 40%. The jump came in the past week after Trump's endorsement June 10.
Trump had initially endorsed Brooks, but he pulled that endorsement before the May primary because of Brooks' comments at a Cullman, Alabama, rally, where he urged Trump supporters to move on from 2020 presidential election integrity causes.
"There are some people who are despondent about the voter-fraud election theft of 2020," Brooks said. "Folks, put that behind you."
Former Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., a friend to both candidates — who did not tell the Post who he supports — recalls telling Britt before she entered the Senate primary race: "Katie, the first thing you need to do is go down and see President Trump."
And, even after Trump endorsed Brooks initially, she did not lash out against Trump — something Brooks has done in the past 10 days.
"Katie and her people were pretty savvy about, you know, going to the Trump world and saying, Hey, look, this guy you've endorsed is not doing well," Byrne told the Post. "And I think it got their attention."
The RealClearPolitics polling average has Britt as a 20-point favorite over Brooks in Tuesday's runoff. That does not include a Friday Alabama Forestry Association poll conducted by McLaughlin & Associates:
- Britt: 58.4%
- Brooks: 32.6%
- Undecided: 9.0%
That near 26-point margin is from a poll that had voted for Britt (39.4%) in the initial primary by just a 12.2-point margin over Brooks (27.2%). Making it just a two-candidate race, and adding in Trump's endorsement, has given Britt around a 14-point boost among those polled.
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