(AL.com) — Alabama's rollicking Senate race has been a star-studded affair involving President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and actors Phil Robertson and Chuck Norris.
The national media is paying attention, with publications and broadcast networks throughout the country descending on Alabama to cover the race pitting Senator Luther Strange and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.
"It's certainly a critical national race," said Cal Jillson, professor of political sciences at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "All eyes will turn to Alabama over the next week."
Said Jess Brown, a retired political sciences professor from Athens State University and a longtime observer of Alabama politics: "I cannot think of another U.S. Senate election in Alabama that got so much attention from national political actors."
But despite the outsider attention ahead of Tuesday's GOP runoff, most political observers continue to doubt the election will represent a harbinger of things to come during the 2018 midterm elections.
There are certainly plenty of political story lines in Alabama packed into an election that is expected to draw a meager 12 percent of voters on Tuesday.