Alabama Senate primary runoff a proxy war for Trump and Bannon

Steve Bannon's endorsement of Roy Moore frames Trump-endorsed Luther Strange as the establishment Republican candidate.
16:58 | 09/26/17

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Transcript for Alabama Senate primary runoff a proxy war for Trump and Bannon
Hi everyone I'm on an Abbas lie in New York will now down Alabama where at special election has national attention. Ever since president trump and his former senior advisor Steve Bannon had both weighed it. Just on opposite side school I think hacked my colleague Alley Rogen who joins us from Mobile, Alabama. Also with us our two colonists from a Al dot com joining us from their Birmingham offices. Kyle with Meyer and John Archibald guy thanks so much for being with us and and a check in week he would just a moment let's go to Alley first. Just to set the scene here Alley for folks who haven't been keeping up we're talking about a seat that was vacated. By Jeff session she went on to become president Trump's attorney general. For the candidates and who is supporting who. And it sends rain on. Vacated by taking better Jeff Sessions in February. And now is that major proxy war going on. Company was acquitted in February and here extremes. Previously in the states attorney general and his talent. Word because it here. Reject and not clock follows. Supreme court's decisions including. Following need to create a say in favor of same sex marriage more rosy notoriety. In the nineties when he first began putting and memorial. Commandments outside the courtroom that's what ultimately led to his dismissal from the bench the first time in 2000 when he heading giant. Marble monument to the ten commandments outside the courthouse. On the let me set the scene a little bit bring you in here at a polling location in Mobile, Alabama is that James. The James sealed recreation center and what it's about. Immune here in Mobile, Alabama and. It's a run off elections so turnout is typically a little. More depressed than it is even in in general or in. Race waiters. More things to vote on so check out this is it this the parking lot Durban a couple of cars coming in and out but I'm not sure if that's eager to vote. Or into Rex Anderson maybe they're coming to play sports or check on a book or something. So it's really not clear how many exhibiting so far but this is the red hot races you mentioned on the huge implications here in terms of the senate and also it's a huge test of the power of trump vs Steve and it. We'll huge implications there and this when I want to bring in Kyl and John Kyl over to you first hear we saw the empty parking lot their brawl on national attention. This rate has been getting how folks down in Alabama you. I mean we're hearing already that there might be around well percent turnout this election as what secretary of State's office is predicting. As early this morning. And you know. But she said I mean this is not a you regular election it's special elections are very our poll Lugar. And it is it's harder to get. People excited about these. Plus it's a primaries so you don't White House Republicans. Shortened to vote Democrats already voted for their candidate last month. And does every hour we're looking at low turnout. Sid Jon and a human palate both been covering this for quite some time now you have a line here want to read back the navy. Encapsulates what this race all the bout to folks there you wrote picking between growing more and Luther strange. Is a choice between hell and high water what do you mean by that. You it's very. The state it's kind of credit. Him mores. Yeah has been twice kicked off the bench he has abused at a lot of people here is somewhat extremists. Well. It's a strange is seen is an incredible opportunist to his attorney general asked. The governor. Or an appointment that should it. He was supposed to be investigating the gap shirt. It resigned under charges so it's not really a simplest thing. You know this referendum trawl. Or not really that's that was saying it more as the guy people to change I. The question is both of these candidates. Are really sort out. Tainted in the eyes lot of Republican voters and think they're also. You know helps lower that that voter turn out. So Kyle and we now back in the when he sixteen election president trump one Alabama with 62%. Of the vote there does that mean that his. Candidate the guy he's backing Luther strange that he have any kind of advantage moving forward. So far polling showed that. His endorsement of weird or strange person I mean you know. Much if that ball in this race. Frankly I think a lot voters decided. You know two months ago who they were going to vote board. And law. You know our reporters when news. Tuesday truck struck and rally on Friday. They spoke wed. Is people in attendance there and ask them is does this make a difference. And virtually every one they spoke to while I just came here the president tonight but I'm gonna go well Roy Moore. I think a lot of voters the party. Really. Don't know that the that the president's endorsement. Is gonna make a difference here. And Kyra you actually wrote a couple lines are flooded this year we need to have a loved going back through both of your columns by the way but this is backing you and you were talking about the state of the race then back within their other candidates as well. You were describing Moore as a base and and strange is based. Maurice Bates you described as. Passionate but crazy. And strange is based you described as sensible but ambivalent is that what the battle has come down to there. I think it Roy wars. His base has a ceiling and floor and both of those things are are trying to say here. That's why you see low turnout today that's probably a good sign for Roy Moore is voters have a history. Turning now. Regardless if it's rain or shine for everybody else. A lot you're more sort of centrist Republicans the ones do. Would probably be leaning more towards. Luther strange. They're probably the most they're the most conflicting in this election. Because Luther strange does have a lot of baggage a lot of us are self inflicted wounds in this campaign he did not happen this was an item that appointment. You know he could have chosen to approach this as an outsider. But he's always been the type of candidate through. Chooses the path of waste resistance. And right now at least that does not look like a path to victory. So Alley let me get your take on this then because as you heard Kyle say look if turnout is low it may favor Roy Moore Luther strange his opponent at the one act by president trump who's appeared beside him. After a campaign rally. What is this say about president trump if his candidate can't win in this primary runoff. My experience that street rally was seen. As at the other guys is. When I was talking to folks they are saying yes they wanna hear the president they love the president but they're voting for more. So he notes ended his endorsement alone is going to sway a lot of voters street. Not much the case strains really happy natural constituency in this age given that this. The first time he's held and elected office and he wasn't elected. So to the point question trumps. The power of Trump's. Endorsement it's never as simple as black and white either it's powerful or not ended this just proxy mortgage. In it but it's very clear here that president trump that we air. That's how books looking at this thing. He mentioned in the rally on Friday night that if we don't wind we don't hold a sock that's going to be saying the system NASDAQ embarrassment. Resident. And I think to some extent. Maybe not embarrassment but it's certainly going to give an indication that his endorsement alone is not enough to make the difference between victory and beat. We're candidates that he endorses I was that the more rally I'm not far from here last night. So much energy so much enthusiasm you have steep and it is ready he former campaign. I and former White House strategists and folks just let him they embrace the outsider status and they don't like as as yet again mentioned. They don't like effect that extreme we did see most voters get even if they're supporting strange they're skeptical about the circumstances under which got. That appointment they they indicate that they don't like it would throw it sort of suggestion. So it's really healing energy on the around here is our. How much that say about president from enforcement will be talking about that burned through weeks and months to come. But it's certainly going to be. A major. And power and persuasion. John Archibald let me get you to jump in here we're talking a lot about their Republican candidates here because obviously we have the president weighing in. On this particular race the tell me about the other side of the race who would they face off. Against on the democratic fat. They went Doug Jones. Who as former US attorney whose most notable year for having prosecuted the last. Sixteenth street Baptist Church bombers. Back in the late ninety's. I'm sort it out of politics why not Aurilia. That's sort that is his generate enough the good bit of interest here which is unusual for a Democrat. In a statement original now we haven't seen one really contention for a quarter century. I'm so. You know a lot of Democrats say it was him or. Because he's the artist out. Now and and we think that we'd be able. A so they think that they have much chance for the first. But let me ask you that what is at stake here when it comes to that competition the Republican verses with the eventual Republican verses this Democrat because you've written about this recently in terms of where Alabama politics are right now you wrote that the Democratic Party is in shambles Republicans hold a super majority in the legislature and no Democrat. Hold statewide office so what exactly is at stake here. That's exactly right it honestly. And it's most bare bones the only thing that is at stake here is two years in the senate. Because the Democratic Party isn't shambles the supermajority is not in danger and and people close to Derek Jones. Think they have a shot for years but they're really even sell skeptical that they could win. Again when this the regular election rolls around. Just because of the machines. And but that two years it's something that is unaccounted. Think how let me get your take on this now because for all the national attention the conversation about a proxy board being fought there on in your state. What if folks there think about all the national attention and a sort of ignoring it they're gonna go with their got when they vote are you people there care. I think there's been some novelty to. I think a lot of photos again made up their mind are good while ago. Horror in if their offense I'm not sure that the president's endorsement horse bands endorsement. Oh early endorsement of Sarah Palin or some of the others that we're seeing. Has it has really made huge difference here. Our problem I think they're going. Going to the voting Booth minute clip Cohen all the know this but I don't see that those things making huge difference of that. Alley Rogen you are out at the polls today they closed tonight at 8 PM. When you talk to folks there the few you've run across are they saying. What the issues are that are getting them out today what it is it's driving them to show up. In this one race. You're voting for senators range. Martin's plane main aim client. I'm very layered. Down and not remember him by. Spending. Get. 09 big. High added value Rogan live in Mobile, Alabama for at that it Johnny pilot giddy the last word here before we let you go. How can folks and the rest of the country who have been paying so much attention to president trumpet minivan and Sarah Palin all weighing in. On this one runoff rate passed today profits whatever happens. In Alabama tonight on electing at the first word here. Look first of its today that I don't really think you're the referendum on trial because I think that people in Alabama and support in order it from exactly the same regions they were trapped in about 80% of them still do. I'm settlement he's well aren't Isa he's not someone whose transfer. They see. That's what he believes that an answer the bases. There op. Otherwise it more incidents at the United States senate. Welcome now about. You. I think. Endorsement has made difference in this race has been to support Mitch McConnell. For their strange and strange. He's received a lot of money Rahm McConnell. Packs. McConnell. The establishment. Republican. Bully others and it's very capable candidates would probably be in this race today if it for that. Law. This race. And a lot of Al and saw and you know our officials. Now. And our rights but our unofficial motto is racial goal. And way and we see. The watched him was man. O war. You know I'll react there. That. The biggest. Endorsement has made difference here. And it's it's one problem across chances are strange. Pilot Myer John Archibald thanks so much for joining us today. Thanks to you for watching as well acuity get the latest updates on that rates an Alabama. Head over to At any time or download ABC news that get all the breaking news headlines and updates. Write to your phone for now I'm on the Nevada and the actor since.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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