Donald Trump: Alabama Primary Race with Luther Strange ‘Close’

US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting about tax reform in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, September 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images, Butch Dill/AP Photo

President Donald Trump admitted on Friday that the Republican primary race in Alabama between appointed Senator Luther Strange and his primary challenger Roy Moore would be “close.”

“Luther Strange has gained mightily since my endorsement, but will be very close,” Trump said. “He loves Alabama, and so do I!”

The latest poll of the race shows Moore leading the race at 54 percent while Luther lags at 46 percent.

Trump is traveling to Alabama on Friday to campaign for Strange, despite the majority of grassroots support for his challenger Roy Moore. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin rallied for Moore on Thursday evening after the pair of candidates had a debate.

The president decided to back Strange, with the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and much of the Republican establishment who believe that he can win, despite opposition from the very people who supported Trump for president.

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway assured Trump that he could help Strange succeed in battling back his primary challenger.

“There’s nothing like the hum of Air Force One touching down so that the president can lend direct and personal support to a candidate he’s endorsed,” Conway said, according to the Washington Post.

The president has stepped up his support for Strange, sending several positive messages on Twitter.

“Senator Luther Strange has gone up a lot in the polls since I endorsed him a month ago,” Trump wrote on Thursday. “Now a close runoff. He will be great in D.C.”

“Alabama is sooo lucky to have a candidate like “Big” Luther Strange,” Trump wrote. “Smart, tough on crime, borders & trade, loves Vets & Military. Tuesday!”

In another message, he noted the National Rifle Association’s endorsement of Strange.

“He won’t let you down,” Trump told gun owners.