By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
A new poll in the U.S. Senate race places former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore ahead of Democrat Doug Jones by less than 6 percentage points.
The telephone poll, conducted and sponsored by Decision Desk HQ, sampled 590 likely voters in the election. It was conducted last week and released on Saturday.
Former U.S. Attorney Jones polled at 44.5 percent of the vote, which put him behind Moore who polled at 50.2 percent. The poll had a margin of error of 4 percentage points, putting Jones just out of reach from a statistical tie with Moore.
Moore bested his opponent Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., last week in the Republican runoff. The final results had Moore carrying 63 counties to Strange’s four.
The Moore-Strange runoff was host to multiple attack ads against Moore by Strange allies. One super PAC, The Senate Leadership Fund, spent millions in the race to discredit Moore.
On election night, the group conceded defeat early in the night, and urged Republicans to rally behind Moore to keep Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat in the hands of Republicans.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also expressed solidarity for Alabama Republicans in favor of Moore. McConnell, along with other Washington Republicans, were popular targets of Moore during his run for the nomination.
Jones won the Democratic Party Primary in August, beating the second runner-up, newcomer Robert Kennedy, by a little over 48 percentage points.
Since Moore’s victory, Jones has been campaigning across the state and former Obama-era Vice President Joe Biden announced his intention to come campaign for Jones.
Football and Monuments
The poll also tackled national issues of controversy, such as the protest of NFL players on football fields.
Of the people surveyed, 44.9 percent of respondents “strongly oppose” the protests by NFL teams with 8.5 percent marking “somewhat oppose.” In addition to these, 31.7 percent “strongly support” the protest.
The recent NFL issue was started by San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police violence by kneeling and praying during the national anthem.
The controversy was reignited by President Donald Trump’s visit to Alabama to campaign for U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala, where he called a player who would kneel during the National Anthem a “son of a bitch” and urged NFL owners to fire them.
Since his comments, NFL teams around the country have knelt during the national anthem in protest of Trump and in solidarity of their teams.
The poll also tackled whether or not Confederate monuments should be removed from public land in Alabama.
A plurality of people “strongly oppose” the removal of the monuments at 41.5 percent and 14.6 percent of people “somewhat oppose” the removals. Of the rest of the respondents, 20.6 percent “strongly support” removing the monuments with 14 percent somewhat supporting the removal.
While the Confederate monument debate is old, it regained new wind after a White Supremacist attack left 1 dead in Charlottesville, Virginia. The white supremacist were protesting the removal of a confederate statue located in a park.
The Alabama Legislature passed a law forbidding the removal of monuments older than 50 years during the Spring.
During the many hours of debate, state senators and representatives frequently mentioned the Confederate monuments across the state. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill into law in May.
State Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, prefiled a bill earlier this year to repeal the law. State Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery, prefiled legislation to modify the law.