Live at Five: Political Analyst Steve Flowers talks upcoming elections, voter turnout, and COVID-19

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — In the near future, Wiregrass residents will be voting in two big races: the 2nd Congressional District and the U.S. Senate race. Political Analyst Steve Flowers met with WDHN to break those two races down for our viewers.

“The second district race is very important,” Flowers said. “It and the First District in Mobile are the two congressional seats open. It is a Republican seat, therefore, the winner of the July 14 runoff will be the winner. Philosophically, Coleman and Moore are on the same page. Either and or both would vote conservatively with the Republican leadership. The district is designed for the winner to be on the Agriculture and Armed Services Committee. The Senate race will be closer than double digits. However, the Trump endorsement of Tuberville will be difficult for Sessions to overcome. I have written about this race and Trumps vitriol towards Sessions in recent weeks. The most “Trump” person will likely be the winner of either. That’s been the biggest issue.”

Regarding the polling for the 2nd Congressional District race, both men are big supporters of President Trump. According to Flowers, neither Jeff Coleman nor Barry Moore will have Trump’s backing.

“Trump will probably not get involved in this race,” Flowers said. “But the big issue has been Coleman has had the most money. Club for Growth will put a lot of money in for Moore with negative advertising.”

There have been a lot of back-and-forth jabs in the U.S. Senate race. For a long time, former Auburn Head Coach Tommy Tuberville was about 20 points ahead of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the polls. However, there have been some recent polls suggesting Sessions may be narrowing that gap. According to Flowers, internal polling shows tightening in the race.

Why do you believe that’s the case? What are you seeing? How big of a factor is President Trump’s endorsement of Tommy Tuberville?
“It’s hard to gauge if Sessions is gaining on him (Tubberville) at this time,” Flowers said. “Some internal polling shows Tuberville still ahead in this race right now. I believe the advantage goes to Tuberville. I wouldn’t write Sessions off right now, though.”

Many local election officials have told residents to expect some possible delays due to coronavirus restrictions and precautions at polling sites. Flowers told WDHN he expects COVID-19 will impact the elections.

“I do believe COVID-19 will lead to lower than normal voter turnout,” Flowers said. “It will likely be the key to this election and the wild card in this race and really every election. Whomever shows up is what will decide the races.”

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