By Glynn Wilson –
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new public opinion survey of likely voters in an Alabama special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ U.S. Senate seat indicates that Democrat Doug Jones is in a virtual dead heat with Republicans Judge Roy Moore and Senator Luther Strange.
The poll, conducted by the communications department at Emerson College in Boston, shows Moore leading Strange in the primary runoff by 14 percentage points, 40 percent to 26 percent.
If Moore wins the runoff, as the numbers indicate he will, he is only three points ahead of Jones in a head to head battle. He leads 43 percent to 40 percent for Jones, but according to Emerson, that is a virtual tie since it is “well within the 4.8 percent margin of error.”
“If Jones were to win, Alabama could send their first Democrat to the U.S. Senate in (more than) 20 years,” Emerson says.
“We are running a different kind of campaign here, and it’s working,” Jones says in an email blast about the poll. “We are focused on issues that cross party lines and affect real people – like fixing healthcare, protecting our environment, and making sure the economy works for everyone.”
The poll found 34 percent of likely voters still undecided. A slight majority, 52 percent, rate President Donald Trump with a positive job approval rating, with 36 percent disapproving of the job the president is doing.
Of those in Alabama who are still sticking with Trump, despite his low approval rating nationally, 51 percent say they will vote for Moore, in spite of the fact that Trump and Senate Majority Mitch McConnell both endorsed Strange. Only 32 percent of Trump supporters say they will vote for Strange.
Supporters of Republican Congressman Mo Brooks, who got 20 percent of the vote in the Republican primary in August, appear to be splitting their vote between Moore and Strange, with about one-third breaking for each candidate. Another third are still undecided.
The numbers also show that Jones is picking up Republicans and independents who voted for Moore, Strange and Brooks in the primary. Of those who voted for Moore, 25 percent now say they will vote for Jones. Even 31 percent of those who voted for Strange in the primary now say they will vote for Jones.
“The GOP will need to find a way to unite during the 11 weeks until the General Election, or face the prospect of Jones pulling off an upset,” Emerson says.
“Our message of common-sense solutions to real problems is resonating with voters,” Jones said. “We know the only poll that matters is on election day. But it’s clear we are here to win this race.”
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.