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Poll shows Moore ahead in US Senate race, negative view of McConnell’s spending

Roy Moore is surrounded by supporters and media after leaving the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala., on Thursday October 27, 2016 as the lottery is held to pick the judges who will hear his appeal.

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

A poll in the race for Alabama’s US Senate seat puts former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore ahead of sitting US Senator Luther Strange by 19 percentage points.

The telephone poll was conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling and was conducted last week. They polled 515 people and based the demographics of the poll from voter turnout during the Republican Primary on August 15. They gave the polling a margin error of 4.3 percent.

The poll said Moore is leading with 51 percent of the vote and Strange is placing second at 32 percent. That leaves 17 percent of the sampled voters still undecided.

The Super PAC Senate Leadership Fund, which has connections to US Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, has spent millions in the race in favor of Strange. They also ran multiple ad campaigns against Moore and US Representative Mo Brooks who placed third in the Senate race.

A question on the poll conducted by JMC focused on this issue by asking: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spent millions of dollars helping Luther Strange get elected. Did his support make you more or less likely to vote for Luther Strange?”

Of the respondents, 46 percent answered that Mitch McConnell’s spending in the race makes them less likely to vote for Strange.

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Moore has positioned his campaign in opposition to McConnell saying McConnell’s involvement in the race is a negative attribute of Strange.

In an email to supporters the day after the primary, Moore called for his supporters to brace for a new round of campaign ads financed by the Senate Leadership Fund. Moore then called himself the “biggest threat to the establishment’s power in Washington.”

Another politician focused on in the poll was President Donald Trump who endorsed Strange in a tweet a day before the primary. Trump also congratulated both Strange and Moore the day after and said the race was “exciting.”

Most of the respondents, 51 percent, said Trump’s endorsement had no effect on their decision to vote for Strange. This was followed by 25 percent of respondents who said Trump’s endorsement did make them more likely to vote for Strange.

The poll also found that the Huntsville region leans heavily towards Moore.

They define the Huntsville region as Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Morgan, Marshall, Jackson and DeKalb counties.

In the August Primary, Moore won 41.6 percent of the vote in this region while in the mock poll Moore won the vote with 58 percent of the vote. Brooks—who represents six of these counties in Congress—placed second in the primary race for the Huntsville region.

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The poll’s summary said that Brooks’ Huntsville base has “largely realigned” with Moore.

Another scenario indicated by the poll is low turnout numbers for the US Senate run off with only 70 percent of participants answering yes to the question: “Do you plan to vote in the Republican US Senate special election runoff on September 26?” Additionally, 17 percent answered no and 13 percent were undecided.

The runoff is set for September 26, with the General Election set for December.


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