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Internal polling shows Tuberville, Jones would be a tight race

Sen. Doug Jones, left, and Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, right.

Sen. Doug Jones’ campaign released an internal poll Monday showing that the incumbent Democratic senator and Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville would be in a tight head-to-head battle should Tuberville win next month’s runoff.

The poll shows Tuberville slightly edging Jones 47 percent to 44 percent, but the difference is within the poll’s margin of error of 4 percent.

The poll was prepared by FM3 Research. The survey of 601 likely November general election voters show a highly competitive race between incumbent Jones and Tuberville. Nine percent are still undecided.

A key factor could be Black voters. In the 2017 special election Doug Jones received 96 percent of the Black voters’ support while Republican nominee Roy Moore received less than four percent of the vote. According to the FM3 Research poll if Jones can pull a repeat performance and somehow manage to receive even 92 percent Black support in November, the race would be dead-even at 46 to 46 percent.

The poll shows that Tuberville continues to hold a wide lead over Sessions among Republicans most likely to vote in the July 14 Republican primary runoff. Tuberville’s advantage is more than 20 percentage points: 54 percent to 32 percent.

Little changed since a poll conducted after the March 2020 primary in which Tuberville led Sessions 54 percent to Sessions 32 percent.

The FM3 poll surveyed 601 Alabama registered voters likely to cast a ballot in the November 2020 Election. The survey also includes an oversample of Republicans who are likely to vote in the July U.S. Senate runoff election. The interviews were conducted via landline and cell/mobile telephone by live interviewers. The margin of error for the November general election results is plus or minus four percent. The margin of error for population subgroups will be higher.

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In response, the Sessions campaign accused the Jones campaign of trying to pick their general election opponent.

Sessions’ spokesman John Rogers said, “This is classic Chuck Schumer. They want to trick Alabama Republicans into picking the weakest candidate so they can beat him. Tuberville is weak, and Jones and Schumer know it. On July 14th, Alabama Republicans will tell these Washington insiders to back off and get lost.”

The Sessions campaign claims that Sen, Sessions is gaining in the polls and is now within striking distance of Tommy Tuberville.

The Sessions campaign claimed that “Tuberville sent a desperate plea to his ultra-wealthy campaign donors begging for money. The memo states, “A new poll shows that Coach holds a lead in this primary runoff… but also that Jeff Sessions is rapidly closing the gap!””

The Sessions campaign claimed that Tuberville is sinking in the polls as voters weigh the choice between a proven conservative fighter like Jeff Sessions and an amateur like Tuberville.”

“Doug Jones desperately wants to run against a weak candidate like Tommy Tuberville,” Rogers said. “That’s why he is releasing this poll today – Jones wants to pick the Republican primary winner whom he believes he can beat.”

The Sessions campaign told the Alabama Political Reporter that Sessions beats Jones in every poll they have conducted.

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The Tuberville campaign also disputes the Jones poll and shared a poll with APR by Montgomery based Cygnal showing Tuberville with a 14 point general election lead over Jones.

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

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