So far, we only have one primary poll to go on that includes Sessions, but it provides some positive news for him, albeit from a friendly source. The Club for Growth, a conservative advocacy group that pushed for Sessions to run, released a survey that found Sessions leading the Republican field with 36 percent of Republican primary voters supporting him, ahead of former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville’s 23 percent, while Rep. Bradley Byrne and former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore (who lost the 2017 special election to Jones) each had 11 percent. And although he led that poll, Sessions’s support would still be insufficient to avoid a primary runoff, as Alabama is one of seven states that requires a candidate to win a majority of the vote in order to capture the nomination. The runoff system could be a real problem for Sessions, too. While Sessions might garner the most votes in the primary — good enough to win in most states — Trump could end up endorsing his opponent in the runoff, making it tougher for Sessions to attract enough additional support to win a majority.
And other leading Republican candidates don’t appear likely to make way for Sessions’s entrance into the race. Just before Sessions announced, Tuberville said that Sessions “had a chance to help President Trump, and he failed him once.” “We don’t need him to fail him again,” he added. A pro-Tuberville political action committee is also running an ad calling Sessions a “traitor” to Trump. Meanwhile, Byrne said it would be tough for Sessions to win with Trump calling him “an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama.”