By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
If Alabama’s race for Lieutenant Governor were held today, Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, current president of the Alabama Public Service Commission, would best her competition by double-digits according to a new poll released by Public Opinion Strategies.
In a statewide survey conducted Feb. 3, 5 and 6, among 500 likely GOP primary voters, Cavanaugh had a 74 percent name ID, leading the field by over 50 points with only around 20 percent having heard of either of her rivals, State Senator Rusty Glover or State Representative Will Ainsworth.
A longtime fixture of Republican politics, Cavanaugh is a known quantity having been party chair as well as acting in other leadership roles and elected offices. Glover, who has served in the Legislature since 2002, is also known in ALGOP circles. The wildcard in the Lieutenant Governor’s race is Ainsworth, an outsider who was elected to the Alabama House in 2014.
According to the survey overseen by Glen Bolger, one of the Republican Party’s leading political strategists and pollsters, in a three-way matchup, Cavanaugh starts with one-third – 33 percent – of voters supporting her with 11 percent aligned with Glover, while seven percent favor Ainsworth. The remainder being undecided.
The poll found that if the election were held today, based on her ballot and name ID, Cavanaugh would likely win without a runoff.
The survey concludes Cavanaugh is starting with a healthy lead on the initial Lieutenant Governor ballot test among likely GOP primary voters.
Public Opinion Strategies memo states, “Upon learning more information about her background, voters say they are more likely to vote for Cavanaugh.”
Bolger suggests, “A strong message campaign focusing on the conservative aspects of Cavanaugh’s background will help to sway undecided voters toward Cavanaugh, making this a very winnable race.”
The survey of 500 likely GOP primary voters included 150 interviews with cell phone respondents and had a margin of error of +4.38 percent in 95 out of 100 cases.