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A political analyst and former Republican leader is weighing in on Tuesday’s important GOP Senate primary in Alabama and a new effort launched by Democrats to try to win back voters in Republican-dominated Middle America.
Organizers of the group calling itself “New Democracy” say they’ll push ideas and back candidates in rural areas and suburban enclaves that Democrats too often have abandoned. The group includes sitting and former governors, onetime Cabinet members, and members of Congress and statehouses. The lead organizer, Will Marshall, helped run a similar organization a generation ago – the Democratic Leadership Council – that helped propel then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton to the presidency in 1992.
But Tom Pauken, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, has a message for the Democrats: this isn’t 1992.
“The problem with the Democrats is they’ve gone so far to the left on social issues and cultural issues that they’ve alienated a lot of people who were inclined to vote for them in the old days,” he tells OneNewsNow.
“Nowadays you have to be pro-homosexual rights, pro-abortion, [all-in] for these extreme causes in order to be accepted in the Democratic Party,” he adds, “and some new group is not going to be able to change that.”
In Pauken’s opinion, the Republican Party has pretty much become the party of blue-collar, working Americans.
A run-off coming in Alabama?
In Tuesday’s GOP primary, there are no less than nine Republicans vying for the right to be the permanent replacement of Jeff Sessions, who gave up the seat to become President Trump’s attorney general. The latest RealClearPolitics averageshows former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore with a three-point advantage over Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill Sessions’ vacant seat and who has received the endorsement of President Trump.
“Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama,” the president tweeted last week. “He has my complete and total endorsement!”
Congressman Mo Brooks, a member of the House Freedom Caucus who has the support of many Trump supporters, finishes third in most polls behind Moore and Strange.
The president’s endorsement of Strange is being described as a “game-changer.” Indeed, Pauken admits being “a little surprised” that Trump endorsed anyone in the race.
“I thought it would be more of a non-endorsement in this race because Congressman Brooks has been a strong conservative – and I thought the president would stay out of this race,” he states.
Pauken expects the race will come down to a runoff involving two of the three favorites.
“If Brooks gets in the runoff with Strange, he has a good chance of winning,” he predicts. “I don’t know that Moore can get over the hurdle of getting the majority of votes in the runoff. If it’s Moore versus Strange in a runoff, it just depends on who turns out.”
And if it’s Moore verses Brooks? “Then conservatives win either way,” replies Pauken.
Democrats aren’t expected to be a challenge in the very “red” state.