SPONSORED:

Alabama GOP Senate primary: live results

Alabama GOP Senate primary: live results
© Greg Nash

It’s Election Day in Alabama, where Republicans will hold a primary to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBiden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Biden administration should resist 'slush-fund' settlements MORE.

All eyes are on the Republican primary in the deep-red state, where Trump-endorsed Sen. Luther Strange, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - World mourns the death of Prince Philip The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE are locked in a tight battle.

Moore, Strange head to runoff

ADVERTISEMENT

10:07 p.m.

The New York Times and The Associated Press have called the race for Moore and Strange, setting the stage for a runoff fight.

Democrats get the nominee they wanted

10:00 p.m. 

Doug Jones, the former district attorney and the Democratic party's preferred candidate, is projected to win the Democratic primary without the need for a runoff.

Jones has a huge lead over the field with 61 percent of the vote with 60 percent of precincts reporting, according to The New York Times. Both the Times and The Associated Press have called the race for Jones.

Jones, who had been endorsed by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenIRS to roll out payments for ,000 child tax credit in July Capitol Police told not to use most aggressive tactics in riot response, report finds Biden to accompany first lady to appointment for 'common medical procedure' MORE, had been expected to cruise to victory. But some pollsters had raised questions about whether he could avoid a runoff, thanks to strong polling by the largely unknown Robert Kennedy Jr., who appears to have been bolstered by his famous name.

ADVERTISEMENT

Moore still in the lead with majority of precincts reporting

9:55 p.m.

We've hit the 50 percent mark of precincts, and Moore still has the lead. The results have barely changed over the past half hour — Moore has 41 percent to Strange's 31 percent, with Brooks far behind with 20 percent.

A runoff between Moore and Strange is more and more certain.

Moore holds firm

9:21 p.m.

Moore still sits in a comfortable first place, with the margin between the two top vote-getters shrinking slightly.

The lead sits at 11 points, with Moore leading Strange by a margin of 42 percent to 31 percent with 21 percent of precincts reporting in The New York Times's count.

The former state Supreme Court chief justice led Strange by a 14-point margin earlier, with just 5 percent of the votes in.

Brooks sits in a distant third and will likely lose the primary unless he makes up serious ground.

Moore takes the stage

9:13 p.m.

Moore is now addressing his supporters at his election night watch party, expressing the kind of confidence that comes with being all but guaranteed a runoff spot.

Moore takes an early lead

9:03 p.m.

With just 5 percent of the vote counted, Roy Moore holds an unsurprising lead with 42 percent of the vote, according to The New York Times. That's still below the threshold he needs to avoid a runoff, but it's a promising sign for the Moore camp.

As expected, it looks like a battle for the runoff's second spot right now, with Strange in second with 28 percent, followed by Brooks's 23 percent.

Strange has the money advantage
8:50 p.m.

Thanks to backing from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell seeks to end feud with Trump Senate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Colin Powell on Afghanistan: 'We've done all we can do' MORE (R-Ky.) and President Trump, Strange has been the beneficiary of virtually all the outside money spent on the race.

ADVERTISEMENT

Michael Beckel with the campaign finance group IssueOne has this handy chart that shows the breakdown of spending.

 

Trouble at the ballot box
8:30 p.m.

Some voters have been circulating stories on social media of heading to polling stations only to find out that they had been listed as "inactive" on voting rolls.

Secretary of State John Merrill told Gigi Douban of WBHM public radio in Birmingham that voters were sent postcards asking to verify their information, and those who could not be reached after two attempts were marked as "inactive."

He stressed that no one would be turned away at the ballot box, but they would have to fill out forms to update their status.

ADVERTISEMENT

The issue affected a number of voters, including Brooks, according to Douban.

There's a Democratic primary too
8:20 p.m.

While the GOP primary had all the fireworks, the Democratic primary has its own peculiarities.

Top Democrats are rallying around Doug Jones, a former district attorney who prosecuted one of the men behind the 1963 Birmingham church bombing. Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Jones last week.

The Democrats' dream case scenario is that a victory by the polarizing Moore gives the party enough of an opening to force Republicans to blow money in a general election that should be an easy victory.

Almost no one believes Democrats would have a legitimate shot at actually winning, but in a low-turnout special general election in December, anything is possible.
 
Complicating that plan: little-known candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. While his name recalls political royalty, Kennedy has no relation to the famous family. Yet, he's expected to poll well thanks exclusively to that familiar name. 

Will Trump's endorsement make the difference?

8:20 p.m.

The race between Moore, Strange and Brooks has hinged on each arguing they'd be best to carry President Trump's flag in the Senate.

That's why Trump made such an impact when he decided to jump in last week and endorsed Strange, the pick of the GOP establishment.

Strange and his allies have leaned on the endorsement to turn out voters in one of the few states where Trump still has a favorable rating at or above 55 percent, according to Gallup.

But Moore and Brooks each dismissed the endorsement, with Brooks going as far to call for Trump to rescind his endorsement and argue that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had tricked Trump into taking his side.

Polls close, turnout looks dismal

8:05 p.m.

The polls have just closed, and it appears that few voters decided to participate in today's primary.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told The Associated Press this afternoon that turnout could drop to between 10 and 15 percent, far below his earlier projections.

Other recent special elections, like the race of Georgia's 6th District House seat, have had booming turnout thanks to a strong push by both sides for the seat.

But with the deep-red Alabama seen as a lock for Republicans in the general election, the lack of competition between the two parties likely helped to dampen turnout. 

GOP showdown expected

7:45 p.m. 

Moore and Strange lead the field. Moore enjoys support from conservatives over his high-profile religious liberty legal clashes, while Strange has the backing of top Republicans, including President Trump, Vice President Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

If no candidate wins the majority, the race will move to a runoff in September.

Democrats have a primary too, but the GOP nominee will be the heavy favorite in the general election.

The Hill will be updating this blog as polls close at 8 p.m. E.T. (7 p.m. CT).