By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Republican U.S. Senate nominee Tommy Tuberville has a 12-point lead over incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, according to polling data released by Auburn University at Montgomery on Monday.
The results showed about 54% of Alabamians plan on voting for Tuberville, a former Auburn University football coach, and 42% plan to vote for Democrat Jones in the Nov. 3 election. Four percent of voters remain undecided, according to the survey.
Tuberville performed well among older voters and those who are part of an evangelical congregation, the survey showed. The results also showed that younger voters, those with a higher level of education, voters of color or voters who are not attached to a religious group are not as likely to respond to Tuberville’s conservative message.
“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,” said David Hughes, an assistant professor of political science and director of AUM Poll. “These trends typify voting today.”
The poll had a total of 1,072 respondents who were registered Alabama voters and was conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. The margin of error for the survey was plus or minus 4%.
Neither candidates' campaign responded to requests for comment about the poll.
Jones did well with voters under the age of 44 and did the best with voters between the age of 18-24, with 63.9% saying they support him. Tuberville did best with voters above the age of 45 and got 66.8% of support from voters between the age of 65 to 74.
Tuberville got 69.5% support from white voters compared to Jones' 27.6%. Jones received 81.3% support from Black voters, while Tuberville received 11.8%.
Jones received 43.4% support from female voters and 40.8% from male voters. Tuberville got 52.9% support from female voters and 55.1% from male voters.
Those who had graduate degrees were more likely to support Jones at 55.5% compared to Tuberville at 38.2%. Tuberville received the most support, 60%, from those voters who had a high school level of education.
Tuberville received 69.8% support from Evangelical Protestants compared to Jones' 28.6%. Jones received the most support from those with no religious affiliation at 60.7%.
The AUM survey also tested the presidential race. Among Alabama voters, 57% said they would vote for President Donald Trump if the election were held today, while 37% said they would vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Six percent said they plan to write in another candidate.
That means Jones is running five points ahead of the top of the ticket.
“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 also showed that 36.2% of respondents strongly approved of the job that Trump has been doing as president. 25% somewhat approved, 10% somewhat disapproved and 27.9% strongly disapproved of his job as president.