By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintains a more than 20-point lead in the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, according to a recent internal poll from his campaign. However, the latest numbers also show Sessions dropping a point since December while Congressman Bradley Byrne gained eight to capture second place in the contest.
According to the Jan. 13-15 survey, Sessions leads the Republican field with 43% of Republican voters saying they’d choose him if the GOP Primary was held today. That’s followed by 22% for Byrne, 21% for former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville and for former Chief Justice Roy Moore, with 6% undecided. The same poll conducted Dec. 3-5 showed Sessions at 44%, Tuberville at 21%, Byrne at 14% and Moore at 7%, with undecided at 12%.
That means, according to the poll, as more undecided voters made up their minds in the race, Sessions slightly lost ground and Tuberville held pat, while Byrne gained seven points to leapfrog into second place. Such a move would be key if the race were to go into a runoff between the top two candidates.
The primary election is March 3. If no candidate wins 50% plus one of the vote, a runoff between the top two vote earners would be March 31.
The poll was conducted by On Message on behalf of the Sessions campaign. It surveyed 700 likely Republican primary voters with a margin for error at +/- 3.7%.
Sessions Poll from December 3-5, 2019
Sessions Poll from January 13-15, 2020
Image testing for the candidates showed similar movement or lack thereof. According to the survey, 72% of voters have a favorable view of Sessions, while only 19% have an unfavorable view. That’s comparable to his 71% favorable and 21% unfavorable numbers from December. Tuberville also maintained an almost identical image rating at 50% favorable against 18% unfavorable, compared to 50% favorable and 17% unfavorable in December.
Again, it is Byrne that showed the most improvement, jumping nine points in his favorability rating. According to the January survey, 46% of voters see Byrne favorably, while 9% view him unfavorably. In December, those numbers were at 37% favorable and 11% unfavorable.
Sessions Poll Favorability December 3-5, 2019
Sessions Poll Favorability January 13-15
The newest Sessions survey was first given to Breitbart News’ Matthew Boyle, who posted the numbers Monday.
See the full memo for Sessions’ December survey HERE: Sessions December Poll
See the full memo for Sessions’ January survey HERE: Sessions January Poll