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Jones falls behind, new poll gives Moore 17-point lead

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, Politico reported that in the latest poll in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, Roy Moore holds a 17 point lead over Democrat Doug Jones.

The new poll by Axis Research taken from October 24 through October 26, 2017, focused on likely special election voters in Alabama.

The President of Axis Research Brenda Gianiny said in a statement, “We see a race that is looking less and less competitive for Democrat Doug Jones.”

Gianiny said that even in their, “most conservative modeling:”

“Not only is nearly half of the electorate (49 percent) definitely voting for Roy Moore, the data shows Moore has united the Republican Party following the Republican primary and the Republican run-off, and earns strong support throughout the conservative coalition,” the report read.

President Donald Trump carried Alabama 63 percent to just 34 percent for Hillary Clinton – the poorest performance by any Democrat in the state since 1972. Among those Trump voters, Moore has 87 percent support. Moore has 86 percent support among Republicans without a college degree. 80 percent among Republican men. 78 percent among all Republican voters. 76 percent among Republican women. 66 percent support among Strange/Brooks primary voters and 66 percent support among Republicans with a college degree.

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“In fact, Roy Moore has a stronger lead against Doug Jones than that shown for the generic Republican (53 percent) against a generic Democrat (41 percent) with special election voters,” Gianiny said.

“Voters in Alabama remained focused on two things, which also drove preferences and vote behavior in the 2016 elections: moral values and changing Washington. The prioritization of these two areas also continues to drive high marks for President Trump. Fifty-seven percent (57 percent) of Alabama voters approve of the job President Trump is doing, with 45 percent giving his job performance strong approval.”

A total of 503 interviews were conducted with live interviewers. 53 percent were cell phone numbers and 47 percent landlines. The margin of error on these results is ±4.47 percent.

In the first poll after the Republican primary runoff, Moore was up five points over Jones. In subsequent polls, it has been Moore up by eight, up eight, tied, up eleven and up eleven. Monday’s poll by Axis is the biggest lead seen yet.

Doug Jones has made a number of gaffes that have perhaps hurt him with moderate Republicans and independents.  His positions supporting both abortion and transsexuals in the military, while mainstream Democratic positions differ substantially from those held by most 21st Century Alabamians. Jones’ suggestion that Alabama was an embarrassment to him also was pounced upon by the Moore campaign. Moore has also hit Jones hard on defense.

While Moore has gotten numerous endorsements from across the state and the nation, the Jones campaign has avoided publicizing endorsements by major Democrats, perhaps for fear that it may turn off some voters. Jones has never run a statewide campaign before, while Moore is a much more experienced campaigner. This is Moore’s fifth statewide race and, to this point, his campaign has been much more active, engaged and media savvy.

The special election will be on Dec. 12, 2018. The U.S. Senate vacancy was created when Trump nominated Jeff Sessions to be U.S. Attorney General. The winner will serve through 2020.

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No Democrat has won a Senate seat from Alabama since 1992, and that was Richard Shelby, who switched to the Republican Party two years later. The last time any Democratic candidate has won any statewide race in Alabama was 2008, when former Lieutenant Gov. Lucy Baxley narrowly edged out Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh for president of the Public Service Commission.  Cavanaugh beat Baxley four years later.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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