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Runoff Analysis: Strange carried Birmingham, Huntsville; Moore took everywhere else

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

As the results poured in Tuesday night, one thing was perfectly clear: former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore would win by a considerable margin.

Moore’s opponent, Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala.; won four counties in Alabama compared to Moore’s 63. In August, Strange carried five counties and Moore carried 60.

The two were facing each other in a Republican runoff after neither received more than 50 percent of the vote in the August party primaries.

Strange’s stronghold appeared to be in Birmingham, where the senator is originally from.

In Jefferson county, Strange lead Moore by 16.6 percentage points and in Shelby County, just south of Birmingham, Strange lead Moore by 9.6 percentage points.

But the real region to win in the race was Huntsville and Northern Alabama, where both the candidates underperformed in the August Primary.

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Northern Alabama is home to former Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who carried both Madison and Limestone counties during the August Primary. Brooks endorsed Moore before the final full week of Republican Runoff.

On the other hand, President Donald Trump, a Strange supporter, rallied in Huntsville days before the election to ramp up support for the senator. His rally was overshadowed with comments on NFL players, which sparked national controversy.

Even in his endorsement of Strange, the president said at the rally he “might have made a mistake” in endorsing the senator.

The end results show a mixed bag for the both with Moore carrying most of Northern Alabama and Strange winning Madison County, where Huntsville is located, by 3.4 percentage points.

The only other county Strange carried was Sumter county, which is in West Alabama on the border with Mississippi. While Strange won the county, only about 347 of Strange’s 218,066 votes came from Sumter county.

The other major areas of interest included Mobile and Baldwin counties located in the far south of the state. During the August primary, former Senate candidate state Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Montrose, placed third in these counties taking a substantial chunk of the vote.

Moore won both counties carrying them both with margins larger than 5 percentage points.

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Overall, Moore dominated the rural counties winning some by a margin of larger than 30 percentage points. He also performed similarly in August.

The final vote percentage between the two candidates was 54.6-45.4 with Moore winning. Over 400,000 people voted in the Republican runoff.

The runoff was also host to a very low voter turnout. The unofficial results by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office put the voter turnout for the race to be a little over 14 percent. In comparison, the August primaries saw a little over 17 percent voter turnout.

Moore will now face former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in the general election set for December.

Sam Mattison
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