By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Politico Pro is reporting that Senator Luther Strange (R) has taken a seven point lead over his competition in the Special Republican primary to replace Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) who vacated the seat to become US Attorney General.
The poll was conducted by Montgomery based Cygnal, which has said that the poll was not meant to be made public. According to the poll, Sen. Strange after spending vast sums on political advertising, is now the preferred candidate of 33 percent of likely Republican Primary voters. Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) is poling at 26 percent. US Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), who has been subject to massive negative advertising in the last two weeks charging that he is not supportive of President Donald J. Trump (R) and has faded to just 16 percent of the vote. Author Mary Maxwell was in fourth at five percent tied with Dr. Randy Brinson. State Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose) has just two percent.
The Alabama Political Reporter (APR) talked with Congressman Mo Brooks about his poor polling. Brooks scoffed at that poll which he says does not reflect reality or what any of the other polling is showing and suggested that there were ulterior motives in it’s release. Brooks said that while his number is lower than what all the other polling shows and Luther Strange’s 33 percent number is far higher than in any other poll done; the number that sticks out is that Maxwell is in fourth at 5 percentage points. State Senator Trip Pittman is showing at just two percent. Brooks scoffed at those numbers.
Brooks said that in most polling Pittman and Brinson are in fourth place with around five percent each while Maxwell, the Australian lady who moved here to run for Senate is polling at less than one percent. Brooks said that his campaign has done two robo polls recently and a New York lobbyist group is doing a human caller daily tracking poll that is following this closely.
According to Brooks, Chief Justice Roy Moore is polling consistently in first place with between 26 and 29 percent of the vote, Sen. Luther Strange is polling between 20 and 24 percent, and Brooks himself is polling between 21 and 23 percent. Some days Strange is in second and in some polls Brooks is in second.
Only the top two vote getters would be in the Republican Party Runoff. A runoff will be necessary if no one wins the primary outright by getting over 50 percent of the votes cast.
APR asked: Since this is a special election primary in August, there are no sheriffs or county commission primary races or Presidential races bringing voters to the polls how difficult is it to really get a reliable number for likely Republican voters?
Rep. Brooks said, “This is a unique situation. This is the first statewide Special Election in Alabama I am aware of.” How do you gauge the intensity of the voters? “My voters are motivated. Judge Moore’s voters are motivated. Of the three I would think that Luther Strange’s voters would be the least motivated. Luther is damaged goods. He has no conservative voting record, he has no honesty, he has no ethics. Unless you are one of the Special Interests or big money donors that are supporting his campaign for what you expect to get back there is no reason to go to the polls to vote for Luther Strange.”
APR spoke with Senate Candidate Dr. Randy Brinson (R) about the polling. Do the wild swings in these polls show that the Alabama people really have not made up their minds yet about who they are going to vote for and haven’t really latched on to a candidate yet?
Brinson said, “That is exactly right.” Brinson compared it to the 2010 gubernatorial where just weeks before the election State Representative Robert Bentley (R) has just seven percent of the vote; but on the day of the primary vaulted over Roy Moore and businessman Tim James into second place and in the runoff.
The Special Republican Primary will be on August 15, 2017.