August 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A new poll finds U.S. Senate candidate and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore way out in front in his runoff election against “establishment” Republican Sen. Luther Strange, the state’s former Attorney General.
Fifty-one percent of 515 likely GOP voters said they would vote for Moore compared to 32 percent for Strange if the election were held today. The poll of 515 Alabamans was conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling on August 17 and August 19.
“Former Chief Justice Roy Moore at the outset of the runoff has consolidated support from the ‘also rans,’ and that when combined with his bedrock support among evangelicals is giving him a substantial initial lead,” JMC said in analyzing its results, “while appointed incumbent Luther Strange has not been helped by the support from both President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”
Moore and Strange face off September 26 for the Republican nomination. The winner will face Democrat Doug Jones on December 12 to fill the Senate seat vacated by Sen. Jeff Sessions, chosen by President Trump to be Attorney General.
The strongly pro-life and pro-natural marriage Moore, a devout Christian, cruised to victory August 15 in a nine-man Republican field, winning almost 39 percent of the vote to almost 33 percent for Strange. Conservative Congressman Mo Brooks ran third with nearly 20 percent.
No Democrat has won statewide office in Alabama since 2006 or been elected to the Senate since 1992, so the GOP primary runoff election will likely decide who is the next Senator from the southern state. Alabama went 62 percent for Trump to 34 percent for Hillary Clinton in November.
Twenty-four percent of those polled said they had voted for a candidate who did not make the runoff. Sixty-eight percent of the respondents described themselves as evangelical Christians and 70 percent said they would be voting in the runoff election.
Question 5 of the survey asked if Trump's endorsement of Strange in the Senate primary — which ”baffled” Brooks and many other Alabama conservatives — made the respondent “more or less likely to vote for Luther Strange.” One-quarter (25 percent) said “more likely” and 23 percent said the Trump endorsement made them less likely to vote for Strange, who was picked to fill Sessions’ seat by Robert Bentley, Alabama’s former governor who resigned amid an adultery scandal. More than half of those polled (51 percent) said it made no difference to them.
No love for Mitch McConnell
The poll's Question 6 was devastating to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, the “establishment” Republican who, it noted, “spent millions of dollars helping Luther Strange get elected.”
The poll asked: “Did [McConnell’s] support make you more or less likely to vote for Luther Strange?” Only 10 percent responded “more likely” and 45 percent said his backing made them less likely to vote for Strange. The rest (46 percent) said it made no difference to them.
In the initial GOP primary, the McConnell-allied Senate Leadership Fund PAC’s sometimes vicious attack ads against Brooks bloodied the House Freedom Caucus member’s campaign, but, as the poll suggests, conservatives who voted for Brooks now will likely move to Moore rather than Strange, though Brooks has yet to make an endorsement for the runoff.
As Breitbart reported, “this poll seems to indicate that Moore is the only candidate gaining more votes while Strange is stuck with a ceiling of what he got on primary day before the runoff.”
JMC Analytics had three “main takeaways” from the poll:
(1) “Former Chief Justice Roy Moore surges into an early runoff lead due to support from a substantial number of those who did not support either runoff contender in the August 15 primary;
(2) “Evangelical support is fueling Moore’s initial runoff lead, and
(3) “Both President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s endorsements are not helping Senator Strange.”
Moore and his team have already challenged as defamatory one of the ads run against him by the Senate Leadership Fund, WND reported.
The same JMC Analytics pollster predicted Moore’s August 15 win. In a survey taken August 5-6, it found that Moore had 30 percent support among Alabama GOP primary voters compared to Strange with 22 percent and Brooks with 19 percent. The final election day numbers were Moore, 39 percent; Strange, 33 percent; and Brooks, 20 percent.
Yesterday, Moore tweeted, “In his home state, Mitch McConnell has a 18% approval rating, yet he's trying to control Alabama voters?” as he linked to a story in The Hill about the Senate Majority Leader’s abysmal poll numbers.