In a field that's 17 men and one very interesting woman deep, candidates for U.S. Senate in Alabama must find a way to distinguish themselves before the very Republican electorate.
For many of the Republican candidates, that means sidling as close to President Donald Trump as possible.
The two most well known candidates, Sen. Luther Strange and Rep. Mo Brooks, have loudly echoed Trump's talk of the "swamp" as part of their campaign platforms.
Strange — the former state attorney general who was appointed to the seat — has six "issue" pages on his campaign website, including immigration and Obamacare repeal. One issue page is titled "Supporting President Trump" and another "Draining the Swamp."
Brooks has also has a "Drain the Swamp" tab on his home page. He writes, "President Trump was right when he called Washington, D.C. a swamp. Big-moneyed lobbyists and special interest groups peddle influence with corrupt elected officials. ... As your next Senator, I will fight to 'Drain the Swamp' by standing up to the corruption and powerful special interests who bribe, bully, and threaten elected officials into doing their bidding."
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, known as the "Ten Commandments judge," is another leading candidate using President Trump as a campaign tool, though in a different manner.
Moore is pitching himself as an even more out-of-the-box politician than Trump: "Imagine a candidate for the U.S. Senate who is more anti-establishment than Trump and has been proving it for more than 20 years as a judge and even chief justice of his state's Supreme Court," Moore writes on Facebook. "You don't have to imagine such a scenario, because it's true," he says, referring to himself.
The candidates are showing confidence in the president's message, and for good reason. Trump won Alabama with almost 63 percent of the vote last November. It is clear that Republicans are riding his political coattails all the way to — they hope — the floor of the Senate.