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.
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.