A new Auburn University Montgomery poll shows former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville with a 12-point lead over incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, though that is five points less than the lead President Donald Trump has over Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden.
The newly released poll from Auburn University Montgomery’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration shows that 54 percent of likely Alabama voters intend to vote for Tuberville while only 42 percent say that they are planning to vote for Jones.
Approximately 4 percent of voters said that they plan to write in another candidate’s name at the polls this November.
“Poll results show that Tuberville enjoys his widest levels of support among voters who are white, older, have less education, and belong to an evangelical congregation,” said David Hughes, an assistant professor of political science and director of AUM Poll. “These trends typify voting today.”
“Modern Republican politics continues to emphasize much of the culture war issues like same-sex marriage, law and order, and illegal immigration that dominated American politics over the past 20-30 years,” Hughes said.
Hughes said that younger voters, especially those of color, who are not attached to conservative religious groups, or those who have attained a higher level of education, are not as likely to respond to such political messages.
“This will be a problem for Republicans nationwide as the share of older, white, evangelical voters are generationally replaced by Millennial and Gen-Z voters who are culturally much more diverse,” Hughes said. “Until that happens, however, Democrats like Doug Jones will continue to struggle in places like Alabama.”
Even though Jones appears to be trailing his Republican opponent he is performing better than Biden in Alabama.
According to AUM Poll results, approximately 57 percent of Alabama voters intend to vote for Trump, while only 37 percent say that they plan to vote for Biden.
Some 6 percent said that they prefer to write in another candidate’s name.
“Jones’ advantage over Biden is likely due to his moderate, bi-partisan record in the Senate,” Hughes said. “He has really built a reputation as someone who can reach across the aisle to get important work done. That said, on many critical votes such as whether to convict President Trump in his impeachment trial, Jones has been a reliable Democratic ally, which likely isn’t helping his reelection efforts.”
The poll was conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 3 and consisted of 1,072 registered Alabama voters. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Respondents were recruited through an online platform. Responses were then weighted according to Alabama demographics such as age, education, income, race and gender.
Jones is the only Democrat to win any statewide election in the state of Alabama since 2008. Jones narrowly defeated former Chief Justice Roy Moore in a 2017 Special Election.
Jones is outspending and out-fundraising Tuberville but not by the wide margins he enjoyed in 2017. like his 2017 race, over 80 percent of Jones’ money comes from out of the state donors.