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Big League Polls

Big League-Gravis Alabama Senate Runoff Poll: Moore leads Strange 48% to 40%

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Challenger Roy S. Moore has an eight-point lead over Sen. Luther J. Strange III as the two men head into Tuesday’s Alabama GOP primary runoff, according to a Big League Politics-Gravis poll conducted Sept. 21 and Sept. 22 with 559 registered voters in the state.

Judge Moore has the support of 48 percent of the voters to Senator Strange’s 40 percent with 10 percent of the voters undecided,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based firm that ran the poll. The poll carries a 4.1 percent margin of error.

“The dynamics can change if the undecideds break towards Strange,” he said. “Then, there is the factor of how many show up. It’s illegal for Democrats to vote if they voted in the Democratic primary last month, so Strange has to get new Democratic voters, who did not vote in the primary to show up for him.”

Kaplan said the poll was completed before President Donald J. Trump spoke at a rally for Strange Friday, but the inside the poll the numbers suggest that Moore’s lead will hold.

Trending: Judge Who Jailed Manafort Also Cleared Hillary Clinton In Benghazi Case

Trump beat former first lady Hillary R. Clinton in the 2016 election, 63 percent to 35 percent, with 588,841 more votes than his Democratic rival.

In the poll, 79 percent of the respondents of the poll have a favorable opinion of the president, he said.

Strange has Trump, but Moore has Bannon,” Kaplan said. Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News and the president’s for White House strategist and campaign CEO announced Saturday that he is going to Alabama to help Moore.

“Another factor working for Moore is his lead with both voters with a favorable opinion and unfavorable opinion of Trump,” he said.

Among voters with a favorable opinion of the president 47 percent support Moore compared 43 percent supporting Strange, Kaplan said. Among voters with an unfavorable opinion of the president, 58 percent support Moore compares to Strange’s 28 percent.

Moore also leads Strange with Very Likely voters by 11 points, 52 percent to 41 percent, he said.

The former Alabama chief justice has the support of 45 percent of female voters to Strange’s 37 percent, he said. Among men, Moore leads Strange 50 percent to 42 percent.

An interesting bright spot for the senator, who was appointed in February to succeed Attorney General Jefferson B. “Jeff” Sessions, is his support from Catholics.

Sixty-seven percent of Catholics participating in the poll support Strange compared to 31 percent for Moore.

Fewer than 5 percent of the Alabama population is Catholic, but the state is home to one of the most powerful Catholic media operations in the world: ETWN Global Catholic Network. During the last administration, Strange, then the Alabama attorney general, defended ETWN when the outlet refused to obey President Barack Obama’s rule that they would have to provide their employees with free contraception. Using birth control is contrary to the Catholic Church’s teaching.

The was conducted using interactive voice responses and online panels of cell phones with results weighted to match a proprietary voting demographic model.

Neil W. McCabe is a Washington-based political journalist and editor. Before joining Big League Politics, he was the Capitol Hill correspondent for Breitbart News, where he also led Breitbart's political polling operation and wrote up the Breitbart-Gravis polls. McCabe's other positions include the One America News DC Bureau Chief, a senior reporter at Human Events and a staff reporter at The Pilot, Boston's Catholic paper. McCabe also was the editor of The Somerville News, The (North Cambridge, Mass.) Alewife and served as an Army combat historian in Iraq. His 2013 e-book The Unfriendly Skies examined how the American airline industry went from deregulation in the late 1970s to come full circle to the highly-regulated, highly-taxed industry it is today.

 

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2018 Midterms

Big League-Gravis Florida poll: Nelson leads Scott head-to-head 44% to 39% with 17% undecided

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In one of the 10 states won by Donald J. Trump in 2016, where a Democratic senator is up for reelection, Florida’s Sen. C. William Nelson II leads Republican Gov. Richard L. Scott with 44 percent of respondents to Scott’s 39 percent and 17 percent were undecided, according to the Big League-Gravis poll of 5,778 registered Florida voters conducted between Dec. 19 through Dec. 24.

“Back around the same point in 2013 in his reelection campaign, we had a poll that had Rick Scott losing to Charlie Crist, 46 percent to 36 percent, but he pulled it out,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based company that executed the poll. The poll carries a 1.3 percent margin of error.

Rep. Charles J. Crist Jr. (D.-Fla.) was then running as a newly former Republican, who Scott succeeded in the governor’s office. In the 2014 general election, Scott beat Crist with 48 percent to Crist’s 47 percent. Scott has not formally announced that he is running for Senate in 2018.

Kaplan said both Nelson and Scott have strong support from their own parties. “Nelson has the support of 78 percent of Democrats and Scott has the support of 74 percent of Republicans, but among Independents, Nelson has the real advantage with 45 percent of them supporting Nelson and 31 percent supporting the governor.”

Sen. Clarence William Nelson II (D.-Fla.) stopped to take a selfie with a group of Florida students visiting his D.C. office. (Nelson Senate office photo by Susie Perez-Quinn)

Because Democratic Senate candidates had such a successful 2012, of the 33 Senate seats up in 2018, the Democrats are defending 24 seats, in addition to the seats held by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.) and Sen. Angus S. King Jr. (I.-Maine), two Independents, who caucus with the Democrats. It is also important to note that not only are there 10 Democratic Senate seats from states won by Trump up in 2018, Maine makes it 11, if you count the state’s 2nd Congressional District won by the New York City developer.

Maine’s two districts award their electoral votes independent of the statewide total–and Trump collected more than 42,000 more votes than W. Mitt Romney garnered in 2012, and he lost the state to Hillary R. Clinton by less than 20,000 votes.

With the Democrats defending so many seats, Florida looks like a prime opportunity to for the GOP to pick up a seat. The Republicans now hold a 51-49 advantage in the Senate and this cycle could be their last chance to reach 60 for another six years, because of their own gains in 2014 and holds 2016.

The Republicans have not had 60 or more seats, since the Senate election in 1908, when the GOP held 61 out of 92 seats. The last time the Democrats held 60 or more seats was in the Senate session that ran from 2009 to 2011, which was a temporary combination of 58 Democrats and two Independents. Under current Senate rules, 60 votes are required to end debate and force a vote on all non-budget-related legislation. This means that a minority of 41 senators can extend debate indefinitely, a parliamentary maneuver called the filibuster.

Among Florida women voters, Nelson has the edge over Scott with 45 percent compared Scott’s 35 percent and 20 percent of women are undecided. Among men, Nelson and Scott are tied at 43 percent with 14 percent of men undecided.

Broken down by ethnicity, Nelson has the support of 57 percent of African-Americans, 42 percent of Hispanics and 42 percent of whites. Scott has the support of 16 percent of African-Americans, 40 percent of Hispanics and 44 percent of whites.

The Hispanic category is tricky in Florida as it includes both the Cubans, who tend to be more conservative and Republican and the Puerto Ricans, who tend to be more liberal and Democratic.

Forty-four percent of Florida Catholics favor Scott and 41 percent favor Nelson, while Scott has the support of 57 percent of Evangelicals and 26 percent of Jewish voters. Nelson is the choice of 62 percent of Jewish voters and 23 percent of Evangelical voters.

Forty-two percent of poll participants said they approve of Scott’s job performance as governor and 36 percent said they disapproved, but asked about how he did during the recent hurricane season, 70 percent approved of Scott’s performance and only 15 percent disapproved.

Pressed to approve or disapprove of Scott’s job dealing with nursing homes during Hurricane Irma, 44 percent approved and 30 disapproved with 25 percent uncertain.

The Senate race in Florida could be an interesting gauge of the president’s political strength going into the 2020 election cycle. Trump spends significant time at his home and club at Mar-a-Largo in Palm Beach, but his other properties in the state include, Trump National Golf Course in JupiterTrump International Golf Club in Palm Beach and Trump National Doral in Miami.

Trump won the state in 2016 and its 29 electoral votes with 454,439 more votes than the 2012 GOP nominee W. Mitt Romney and 380,130 more votes that President Barack Obama in that year.

President Donald J. Trump at his Dec. 9, 2017 rally in Pensacola, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Trump’s personal Facebook page)

Fifty-three percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of the president in the poll and 39 percent said they have a favorable opinion.

The survey was conducted using interactive voice responses and an online panel of cell phone users. The results were weighted to match a proprietary turnout model.

Read the complete poll here:
Big League-Gravis Dec. 19-Dec. 24 Florida poll

Read the poll’s crosstabs here:
Crosstabs for Big League-Gravis Dec. 19-Dec. 24 Florida poll

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2018 Midterms

Big League-Gravis Florida poll: Putnam leads DeSantis 23% to 12% for GOP governor nomination

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Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam leads the field of gubernatorial hopefuls in the race for the GOP nomination for governor, but ties Democrat Andrew D. Gillum head-to-head, according to the poll of 5,778 registered voters conducted Dec. 19 through Dec. 24.

“This is going to be the most competitive Florida primary in many years,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based company that executed the poll. The poll carries a 1.3 percent margin of error.

Kaplan said the number one question is can the Florida Democratic Party can finally get organized.

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[These results were first published in the Orlando Political Observer.]

Both the Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for Aug. 28 and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 6.

“The Democratic field is large, but the race is quickly developing into a two-person race between former congresswoman Gwen Graham at 18 percent and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew D. Gillum at 12 percent,” he said. “The field fills out with businessman Chris King, 3 percent; real estate developer Jeff Greene, 2 percent; and former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, 6 percent.

“Gillum is the wild card,” says Kaplan. “If he can raise money in a five-person and race get overwhelming African American support, he has a path to winning the nomination.”

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew D. Gillum spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. (Photo courtesy of Gillum’s Facebook page)

Standing in Gillum’s path for the African-American community is Graham’s legacy of support from her previous campaigns and her endorsement by civil rights legend Rep. John R.  Lewis (D.-Ga.). Graham is also the daughter of former Florida governor and senator D. Robert Graham.

Kaplan said the Republican side is equally as competitive, he said.

“Putnam has jumped out to an early 23 percent to 12 percent edge over House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Ronald D. DeSantis,” he said.

Head-to-head, Graham and Putnam were tied at 32 percent with 37 percent undecided.

In a head-to-head matchup, Gillum tied Putnam at 31 percent each with 39 percent undecided.

DeSantis has not formally announced whether he is running, but President Donald J. Trump endorsed him Dec. 22.

“If DeSantis declares, he will give Putnam a run for his money,” said Kaplan. “DeSantis has the ability to raise money, which will be important in an expensive state such as Florida. Democrats would likely prefer a DeSantis candidacy since Putnam is considered more of a centrist.”

Following Putnam and DeSantis are former state senator Jack Latvala and Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran, both men had the support of 2 percent of the respondents and Bob White, the leader of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, who has the support of 1 percent.

While the poll was still in the field, Latvala resigned from his state Senate seat, after a 33-page report by a retired judge with sworn statements by Latvala and his accuser detailed incidents of sexual misconduct by the Latvala. Among the accusations were groping and the then-senator’s offer to trade support for legislation in exchange for sexual contact. There are at least six women, who have come forward.

Gillum said it was time for Latvala to resign in a Dec. 5 statement: “It’s time for Senator Latvala to resign from the Senate. His intimidation of a sexual harassment victim is repulsive and disgusting, as is his alleged behavior. I believe these women, and we need Florida’s Capitol to be a welcoming place for all people — not a place where sexual harassment victims need police protection.”

Latvala served in the state Senate for 23 years and in his letter of resignation, he said he quit under pressure from state GOP leaders.

“I have maintained that the charges in the original complaint were fabrications and say that still today,” he wrote. He also maintained that he was guilty of not keeping up with political correctness in his language.

Another wildcard in this political cycle in Florida is attorney John B. Morgan, who has championed the political career of Rep. Charles J. Crist Jr. (D.-Fla.) after he left the Republican Party after his term as governor expired in 2011. Morgan has also been a major booster of the state’s Democratic Party, along with causes, such as the legalization of medical marijuana.

During the Thanksgiving weekend, Morgan Tweeted that he was leaving the Democratic Party and that if he did run for governor, he would run as an Independent.

The survey was conducted using interactive voice responses and an online panel of cell phone users. The results were weighted to match a proprietary turnout model.

Read the entire poll here:
Big League-Gravis Dec. 19-Dec. 24 Florida poll

Read the crosstabs here:
Crosstabs for Big League-Gravis Dec. 19-Dec. 24 Florida poll

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Big League Guns

Big League-Gravis Alabama poll: Moore surges ahead of Jones 49% to 45% in special Senate election race

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Republican and two-time Alabama chief justice Roy S. Moore regained his lead over Democrat and former U.S. attorney G. Douglas Jones with 49 percent to Jones’ 45 percent in the last days of the special Senate election campaign to be decided Dec. 12, according to the Big League-Gravis poll conducted Dec. 5 through Dec. 8 with 1,254 likely voters.

Moore has momentum,” said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based company that executed the poll. The poll carries of 2.8 percent margin of error.

“We saw the undecideds move from 8 percent to 6 percent and it is reasonable to assume that shy Moore supporters have become more comfortable expressing their support,” Kaplan said.

In the previous poll, Jones led Moore 48 percent to 44 percent,  he said.

These are the previous three Big League-Gravis polls of the Alabama special Senate election campaign:

Nov. 10 Big League-Gravis Alabama Poll, Moore 48 percent v. Jones 46 percent

Nov. 14 through Nov. 15 Big League-Gravis Alabama Poll, Jones 47 percent v. Moore 42 percent

Dec. 1 through Dec. 3 Big League-Gravis Alabama Poll, Jones 48 percent v. Moore 46 percent

“Another factor working for Moore is the passion among Republican voters,” he said. “In the raw data from each of the previous three polls, we have seen an increase in Republican participation, which was not reflected in the polls because we wanted to keep the same turnout model.”

Kaplan said there has been no serious exit polling done in Alabama for more than five years, so their model was crafted to mirror the state’s registration, along with other factors, however, in light of the consistent movement in the raw data, the voting model was shifted from plus-15 Republican to plus-23 Republican.

The previous three polls were 48 percent GOP and 33 percent Democratic, he said. “Registration in the state runs 52-to-35, GOP-to-Democrat, but for this poll, we changed our model to 53 percent Republican and 30 percent Democrat to account for the turnout passion we picked up in the raw data with Republicans.”

“If we used the old model Jones would be up two on Moore, which still shows Moore’s coming back, but it would also mean that we would be ignoring a verified trend,” he said.

“Broken down by party affiliation, Moore still has a problem with Republicans, but culturally, there is a tendency for them to come home as the election gets closer,” he said.

Alabama Democratic Senate nominee G. Douglas Jones (Photo courtesy of Jones Facebook page)

Jones has the support of 93 percent of Democrats compared to Moore’s 77 percent support with Republicans–with Independents, Jones has an overwhelming lead, 52 percent to 11 percent for Judge Moore,” he said.

Broken down by ethnicity, 86 percent of African-American voters support Jones, along with 32 percent of white voters, he said. Moore has the support of 60 percent of white voters and 8 percent of African-American voters.

Less than 5 percent of Alabamians identify as Catholic, but among Catholics participating in the poll, 47 percent support Moore and 45 percent support Jones. Among Evangelicals, Moore has a huge lead over Jones, 78 percent to Jones’ 17 percent.

In the 2014 election, Sen. Jefferson B. “Jeff” Sessions (R.-Ala.) won reelection with more than 97 percent of the vote–he ran unopposed. This special election is for the rest of the term because of the vacancy created when Sessions resigned from Senate to become attorney general.

In the 2016 presidential race, Republican New York City developer Donald J. Trump won Alabama with 73 percent of the vote to 24 percent of the vote garnered by Democrat former first lady Hillary R. Clinton.

Republican Senate candidate Roy S. Moore meets with an Alabama voter. Moore leads Sen. Luther J. Strange III , 48 percent to 40 percent, going into Tuesday’s GOP primary runoff. (Courtesy of Moore for Senate campaign Facebook page)

Despite a bitter GOP primary that culminated in a Sept. 26 runoff between Moore and Sen. Luther J. Strange III , the assumption was that Moore would coast to an easy victory over Jones, who was the state’s U.S. attorney under President William J. Clinton, especially after Jones refused to deviate from the national Democratic Party’s positions on restricting gun rights and against restoring legal protection for unborn children.

The one concession Jones made to Alabama’s unique culture was his TV ad, where he celebrated the bravery of Confederate soldiers at the same time national Democrats were calling for the removal of memorials to the South’s war dead.

The race was upturned, however, when The Washington Post ran a Nov. 9 story that quoted four women, who said Moore had put them in awkward sexual situations when they were teens and he was in his early 30s. One of the girls claims to have been 14, below the state’s age of consent of 16.

Moore has denied their accounts.

In the just-completed poll, 47 percent of respondents said they believe Post‘s story and 38 percent said they did not.

Forty-nine percent of women said they believe the newspaper’s account, compared to 46 percent of men.

In the candidate preference, there is still a gender divide among respondents who were not undecided, but not as pronounced with Jones the choice of 48 percent of women and 42 percent of men and Moore the choice of 45 percent of women and 54 percent of men.

The survey was conducted using interactive voice responses and online panel cell phone users and the results were weighted to match a proprietary voter model.

Check out the full poll results here:

Executive Summary Dec. 5 through Dec. 8 Big League-Gravis Alabama poll

Check out the poll crosstabs here:

Crosstabs for Dec. 5 through Dec. 8 Big League-Gravis Alabama poll

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