Several eyes have turned to Utah today as the Beehive State holds an important special election.
NPR, The Washington Post, New York Magazine and Roll Call have all deemed Utah’s Republican primary as an important race, as three candidates — Provo Mayor John Curtis, businessman Tanner Ainge and former state lawmaker Chris Herrod — battle to replace former Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
The race may be too close to call, too, according to the Deseret News, as local officials worry about counting all the ballots before the night is through, thanks to a mixup where unaffiliated voters received ballots only meant for Republicans.
But there’s another race gathering attention across the nation, and it’s happening in Alabama.
Incumbent Republican Sen. Luther Strange and Rep. Mo Brooks look to secure the top two spots for a senate runoff election in September, hoping to eventually replace former Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is now U.S. attorney general.
But, according to Politico, the race is more complicated than you think.
Former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore has been “consistently leading” in polls across the state, calling into question endorsements from the Republican Party itself.
See, President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have both endorsed Strange, and yet he’s struggling to defeat Brooks in the race.
Big day in Alabama. Vote for Luther Strange, he will be great!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2017
Experts told Politico that Moore will win comfortably on Tuesday, but not enough to win the nomination outright. Instead, Moore will make the September runoff. It then becomes a question of whether or not Brooks or Strange will land the second runoff spot.
“If Strange barely makes it into the runoff — or comes in third — it will call into question the influence of Trump’s support in a reliably Republican state,” according to Politico.
Indeed, this seems to be the trend. The Washington Post said that Trump’s base will face a “showdown” in the Alabama race.
Similarly, Business Insider labeled this race as “a microcosm of the divisions wracking the GOP.” Trump’s support for Strange definitely helps, since the state is widely Republican and supports the president.
But, according to Business Insider, the support from McConnell, who is “an unpopular establishment Republican” might hinder his chances.
Democrats still don’t have a great chance of winning the state in the fall, though, according to Business Insider. They will look to Doug Jones, who has endorsements from former Vice President Joe Biden and Georgia Rep. John Lewi.
But Democrats feel that Moore winning in this race will up their chances.
"If we can flip Jeff Sessions' seat, it is going to be good for the entire Democratic Party, and it's going to be good for the country because people will start to see there's some rejection of what's going on," Jones told the New York Times.