By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A new Alabama Farmers Federation poll shows statewide Republican candidates with comfortable leads over their Democratic opponents six weeks out from Alabama’s general election.
The results suggest the GOP is favored to maintain its control of each state constitutional office and the judiciary for another term, barring any game-changing events or voter complacency. No Republican candidate polled under 50 percent and each had double-digit leads over their Democratic opponents, according to the survey.
The survey was conducted by Research Consultants on September 22 and paid for by FarmPAC, the political action arm of the Alabama Farmers Federation. It sampled 316 likely general election voters with live interviews and has a margin of error of 5.5 percent. FarmPAC has endorsed each of the statewide Republican candidates in the poll.
In the survey, 56 percent of voters said they would definitely vote for Republican Gov. Kay Ivey if the election were held today, compared to 36 percent for Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, the Democratic nominee.
In the race for Supreme Court Chief Justice, 53 percent of voters said they would definitely vote for Republican Justice Tom Parker compared to 39 percent for Birmingham Circuit Judge Robert Vance, the Democratic nominee.
Many political observers have expected a much closer race for Chief Justice. Vance lost by just four points to former Chief Justice Roy Moore in 2012, and his campaign has attempted to tie Parker to the polarizing Moore. Parker’s lead will signal relief to many Alabama conservatives who have prioritized protecting religious liberty and business-friendly policies in the courts.
Rounding out the survey results, for Attorney General, 56 percent of voters said they would definitely vote for Republican Steve Marshall, while 39 percent said they would choose Democratic challenger Joseph Siegelman. For Lieutenant Governor, 51 percent of voters said they would vote for Republican State Rep. Will Ainsworth compared to 36 percent for Democrat Will Boyd.
Republican Secretary of State John Merrill leads Democratic challenger Heather Milam 51 percent to 39 percent, Republican Auditor Jim Zeigler leads Democratic Challenger Miranda Karrine Joseph 54 to 37 percent, and Republican Supreme Court Place One candidate Jay Mitchell leads Democratic nominee Donna Wesson Smalley 55 to 37 percent.
Matthew Durdin, Alabama Farmers Federation’s External Affairs Director, explained how one key number in the polling could explain the significant leads for Republicans, and particularly incumbents.
“The survey shows most voters believe Alabama is on the right track,” Durdin said. “Alabama’s strong economy and conservative values bode well for Republicans this Fall. More voters say they’ll cast ballots for candidates who support job creation, regulatory reform, and traditional family values.”
According to the survey, 54 percent of voters say Alabama is “on the right track and getting better,” compared to 25 percent who say the state is “on the wrong track and getting worse,” while 21 percent said things are “about the same.”
Nationally, many Republicans are concerned that a “blue wave” of Democratic voter turnout could wipe out the GOP majorities in Congress. Opposition to President Trump and the firestorm over sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have caused those concerns to escalate in some areas.
But, in Alabama, Durdin sees a different upshot from the endless drama out of Washington, D.C.
“Criticism of the Trump Administration, the Republican Congress and a conservative Supreme Court nominee may well serve to motivate Republican voters here in Alabama. If nothing else, that could serve to help conservatives avoid being complacent and sitting the election out just because Alabama is a red state.”
|Definitely Kay Ivey||56|
|Leans Kay Ivey||2|
|Definitely Walt Maddox||36|
|Leans Walt Maddox||2|
|Definitely Will Ainsworth||51|
|Leans Will Ainsworth||2|
|Definitely Will Boyd||36|
|Leans Will Boyd||3|
|Definitely Tom Parker||53|
|Leans Tom Parker||2|
|Definitely Robert Vance||39|
|Leans Robert Vance||2|
|Definitely Steve Marshall||56|
|Leans Steve Marshall||1|
|Definitely Joseph Siegelman||39|
|Leans Joseph Siegelman||1|
|Secretary of State|
|Definitely John Merrill||51|
|Leans John Merrill||3|
|Definitely Heather Millam||39|
|Leans Heather Millam||2|
|Definitely Jim Zeigler||54|
|Leans Jim Zeigler||4|
|Definitely Miranda Joseph||37|
|Leans Miranda Joseph||2|
|Supreme Court, Place 1|
|Definitely Jay Mitchell||55|
|Leans Jay Mitchell||1|
|Definitely Donna Smalley||37|
|Leans Donna Smalley||1|
|Right Track / Wrong Track|
|About the same||21|