April 18, 2017
Alabama has moved up the date for its U.S. Senate special election to December 12, 2017, following a primary on August 15th, Politico reports. The special election was previously scheduled for November 6, 2018, to coincide with the midterm general elections. The winner of the special election will serve out the six-year term of this seat, next up for election in 2020.
The Senate seat became open when Jeff Sessions resigned after being confirmed as U.S. Attorney General in February. Then governor Robert Bentley, appointed Luther Strange to the seat. Bentley subsequently resigned on April 10th to avoid felony charges and likely impeachment. The Lt. Governor at the time, Kay Ivey, took over for Bentley that day. She pursued the date change after discussions with state officials.
As reported back in January, Bentley set the special election for 2018 to - he said - avoid the significant cost of an off-cycle election. However, Strange, in his former capacity as the state's Attorney General, was in charge of investigating the governor. Some believed Strange's appointment to the Senate was a way to derail the investigation, and/or perhaps a 'thanks' for dragging it out for so long.
As a practical matter, these machinations will likely have little effect on Senate control. While Strange is likely to get some primary competition, the Senate seat in this deep red state is expected to remain in Republican hands regardless of who the party's nominee is.
At the presidential level, the Magnolia State has voted for only one Democratic nominee since 1960. The population demographics drive remarkably consistent results every four years.
Rescheduled from April 4, this party primary was conducted exclusively by mail
15 seats were updated, 7 of which moved to safe for the November elections
This far out, polling may be of limited predictive value, but it will become more and more relevant as November draws closer
Having a long history of conducting elections by mail, the state was able to keep its original May 19 primary date. Live results for contested presidential and congressional contests