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Trump endorses Britt for U.S. Senate, but effect may be minimal

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Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Katie Britt in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, calling Sen. Richard Shelby’s former chief of staff “a fearless America First Warrior” in a statement Friday night.

“Katie is an Incredible Fighter for the people of Alabama,” Trump said. “As President and CEO of Alabama’s Business Council, Katie has been working hard to Grow Alabama’s Economy, Create Jobs, and Restore the Great American Dream. She has the Total Support and Endorsement of Chairman Jimmy Parnell and the Alabama Farmers Federation.”

“I’m thankful to have President Trump’s endorsement and strong support,” Britt said in a statement to AL.com.

“President Trump knows that Alabamians are sick and tired of failed, do-nothing career politicians. It’s time for the next generation of conservatives to step up and shake things up in Washington.”

Trump said Britt strongly supports “our under siege Second Amendment, stands up for parental rights, and will fight for our military, our vets, and election integrity.

“Above all, Katie Britt will never let you down. So Get Out and Vote for Katie Britt on June 21st in the Alabama Senate Runoff—she has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” Trump continued.

Trump’s endorsement comes after he withdrew his backing of Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, in March after claiming the conservative congressman became “woke” for telling a Trump rally last summer to move past the 2020 election.

Britt squares off against Brooks in Alabama’s Republican primary runoff June 21. The winner faces Democrat Will Boyd in November to decide who will succeed the retiring Shelby.

However, an endorsement from Donald Trump doesn’t mean much at all to likely voters in the June 21 Alabama Republican Senate runoff, a poll said Friday. The poll, conducted by Louisiana-based JMC Analytics and Polling, also said that Katie Britt has a double-digit lead over U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks leading up to the GOP runoff.

The same poll, released about three hours before the former president announced his endorsement of Britt, found that the survey of 630 likely voters in the runoff didn’t put much stock in who Trump might back.

Of those surveyed, 54 percent said it “makes no difference” in influencing their support of either Britt or Brooks. Another 13 percent said a Trump endorsement would make them “less likely” to vote for Trump’s preferred candidate.

Only one-third of those surveyed said that Trump’s pick would make them “more likely” to support that candidate.

The poll was conducted June 6-9 and has a margin of error of 3.9 percent.

Trump’s lack of clout continued when the poll asked participants about a possible re-endorsement of Brooks by Trump. Trump originally threw his support behind Brooks more than a year ago before rescinding his endorsement in March as Brooks floundered in polls.

When asked if Trump were to again back Brooks, 56 percent of those surveyed said it “makes no difference” who they would vote for while 17 percent said it would make them “less likely” to vote for Brooks. Of those surveyed, 27 percent said a Trump re-endorsement of Brooks would make them “more likely” to vote for him.

Trump, of course, has had an uneven endorsement record in Alabama Senate races. In 2017, the then-president backed Luther Strange — who lost in a GOP runoff to Roy Moore. Trump then endorsed Moore, who lost to Doug Jones in the general election. In 2020, Trump supported the successful campaign of Sen. Tommy Tuberville.

Trump, as president, twice endorsed Brooks’ congressional campaigns that resulted in lopsided wins.

As for the race itself, Britt — the former head of the Business Council of Alabama and chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby — is maintaining the commanding lead she had in the primary election. The poll said 48 percent of those surveyed would vote for Britt while 36 percent would vote for Brooks and 16 percent were undecided.