By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A new internal poll shows Jeff Sessions cutting into Tommy Tuberville’s lead in the GOP runoff for U.S. Senate.
A survey conducted on behalf of the Sessions campaign shows the former U.S. Attorney General trailing the former Auburn football coach 43% to 49% in a ballot test among likely Republican voters. Eight percent of voters remain undecided, the survey showed.
A poll taken by Cygnal in mid-May showed Tuberville leading the race by 23 points. The runoff election takes place July 14.
In addition to gauging the state of the horse race, the survey also sought to answer several questions regarding voter opinion of President Donald Trump’s displeasure with Sessions. Trump has endorsed Tuberville in the race and has recently attacked Sessions on Twitter and in the media, blaming his legal troubles on Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Department of Justice investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.
Trump retains a 92 percent favorable rating among Republican voters, the poll showed. However, 79 percent of voters said they could support both Trump and Sessions without being disloyal and 69 percent said they think Trump should stop attacking Sessions.
The poll was conducted by On Message, Inc., which consults for the Sessions campaign. It surveyed 600 likely GOP primary voters via live phone calls on May 26-27 and carries a margin for error of +/-3.46%.
The two candidates finished close in the March 3 primary, with Tuberville winning 33.39% of the vote to Sessions’ 31.65%. Congressman Bradley Byrne finished third with 24.89%.
The runoff election, originally scheduled for March 31, was postponed until July 14 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The winner of the runoff between Tuberville and Sessions will go on to face incumbent Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in November.
Full survey results: AL Runoff Survey May 2020.pptx