Decision Desk HQ has just released a poll of likely voters in the primary runoff for the special U.S. Senate election in Alabama, the results of which confirm the widespread popularity of GOP candidate Roy Moore.
No Republican candidate obtained 50 percent of the vote in last Tuesday’s primary, so incumbent Luther Strange will face former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice Moore in a runoff contest for the GOP nomination on September 26. In the first round of the primary, Moore received close to 39 percent of the vote, while Strange received just 32.8 percent.
The DDHQ/Opinion Savvy poll out today found that over 50 percent of likely voters say they would vote for Moore if the runoff were today, while just 32.2 percent indicate they’d vote for Strange. Just under 40 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion of Strange, compared to 54.3 percent who view Moore favorably.
These numbers seem to confirm what the primary results already suggested: that Moore has a large base of popularity among Alabamans, unlike Strange, who has never been elected to the Senate. He was appointed by former Alabama governor Robert Bentley to fill Jeff Sessions’s seat when the long-time senator moved to head up the Department of Justice under Trump.
Strange has strong backing from the GOP establishment — he was endorsed by Trump before the August 15 primary and has millions in funding from the McConnell-tied Senate Leadership Fund PAC — but that fact doesn’t seem to be doing him any favors with Alabama voters.
This is somewhat surprising, given that 68.6 percent of voters surveyed in this new poll said they strongly approve of the president, and another 14.8 percent said they somewhat approve of him. Just 14 percent of likely voters in the poll either somewhat or strongly disapprove of Trump. But the Alabama voters who are enthusiastic about Trump seem much more inclined to break in favor of Moore.
Among those who strongly approve of Trump, Moore has a 65 percent favorability rating, while Strange has just 48.2 percent favorability within the same group. Moore leads Strange by over 25 percentage points among respondents who strongly approve of the president and by over 10 percentage points among those who somewhat approve of Trump.
The winner of the runoff will face Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the general election on December 12.