News Post

Alabama Senate Special Election Poll

Immediately after the runoff Tuesday, we commissioned Opinion Savvy to conduct a poll of the upcoming special U.S. Senate general election in Alabama. Opinion Savvy contacted 590 voters through landline and mobile devices on September 27th and 28th.

The horserace

Republican Roy Moore: 50.2%

Democrat Doug Jones:  44.5%

Moore boasts a huge lead among evangelical voters, 67.8% to 28%, while Jones boasts an even larger lead among non-evangelicals, 69.7% to 26.7%. Among African-American voters, Moore peels off 24.8% to Jones’ 70.9%, while among white voters, Jones has a surprising 36.1% to Moore’s 58.5%.

Presidential Job Approval

Strongly/somewhat approve: 54.6%

Strongly/somewhat disapprove: 42.9%

The President’s approval rating stands highest among white voters (49.6% strongly approve), evangelicals (48.7% strongly), and voters over 65 (49.8% strongly), lowest among Democrats (73.4% strongly disapprove), young millennials (64.4% strongly disapprove), and African-Americans (56.4% strongly disapprove).

In addition to the horserace and Presidential job approval, we wanted to ask voters about two controversies recently in the news: the removal of Confederate statues and kneeling players in the NFL.

Do you support efforts within the state of Alabama to remove monuments to the Confederacy from public grounds?

Strongly/somewhat support: 34.6%

Strongly/somewhat oppose: 56.1%

Voters who most strongly supported removal efforts include voters who strongly disapprove of the President (46.9% strongly), African Americans (37.8% strongly), and Democrats (37.5% strongly).

Voters who most strongly opposed removal efforts include voters who strongly approve of President Trump (70.6% strongly), Republicans (62.3% strongly), and evangelicals (52.5% strongly).

What is your opinion of NFL players who decide to kneel during the national anthem, in protest of what some players call “a country that oppresses black people and people of color”?

Strongly/somewhat support: 41.6%

Strongly/somewhat oppose: 53.4%

Protesting players have the strongest support among those who strongly disapprove of President Trump (68.5%), African-Americans (63.4% strongly), and Democrats (60.1% strongly). They have the strongest opposition among voters who strongly approve of the President (84.6% strongly), Republicans (71.4% strongly), and evangelical voters (58% strongly).

Is it really this close?

Always the question to ask when a poll is released, and one we asked ourselves as soon as we received the results. While the state of Alabama has not elected a Democratic U.S. Senator since Richard Shelby (who converted to a Republican after the 1994 midterm), Roy Moore has a general election record we can look at, his narrow win in 2012 to become Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court:

Moore underperformed Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney by eighteen points, losing Madison and Mobile counties and winning on the strengths of Republican rural pockets. It is entirely possible that he has a closer contest than anticipated this year as well: it’s a special election, it’s in December, and Democrats have overperformed in every Congressional special election this year.

But, it is Alabama, and Moore has a dedicated base of evangelical voters that carried him through two rounds of primaries and won’t abandon him over the next eleven weeks. The President has reiterated he will campaign for Moore if needed (while campaigning for his rival, incumbent Senator Luther Strange), and he remains a popular figure in the state.

The full methodology and crosstabs can be accessed here.