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Britt surges, Durant slips in latest Senate poll

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Katie Britt has surged into a decisive lead with two weeks to go in the closely watched GOP primary for the U.S. Senate, according to a new Alabama Daily News / Gray Television poll.

Britt was the choice of 32% of likely Republican primary voters, which is up almost four points from the same poll taken in March and up more than 14 points from her showing in the August 2021 poll.

Meanwhile, Mike Durant, who had been the frontrunner as recently as a month ago, slipped 13 points to 21.4%. The March poll showed Durant with 34.6% of the vote, but that was before a deluge of negative advertising on radio, television and mailers from an outside group opposing him.

Mo Brooks seems to be having a resurgence of his own. The poll shows the Huntsville congressman climbing back into second place with 22.5%, up from 16.1% in March.

The poll was conducted by Cygnal on behalf of Alabama Daily News and Gray Television. It surveyed 600 likely Republican primary voters May 6-7 and has a margin for error of +/- 3.99%.

The primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24.

If the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate were held today, and you had to make a choice, who would you vote for? 

CandidateMay 2022March 2022August 2021
Katie Britt32.0%28.4%17.7%
Mo Brooks22.5%16.1%40.8%
Mike Durant21.4%34.6%-
Someone else8.5%6.5%-

Brooks has had an interesting journey. He started out as the clear frontrunner, as the ADN poll from August showed him winning 40.8% of the vote. Seven months and millions in attack ads later, Brooks had slipped to 16.1% in the March poll and former President Donald Trump pulled his endorsement the same day the poll was released.

Britt’s ascent to frontrunner has been more steady and has come as the former Business Council of Alabama president has faced significant attacks herself, particularly from Washington, D.C. political group Club for Growth.

Britt enjoys the highest net favorability rating among candidates in the race as 50.7% of voters say they have a favorable opinion of her, compared to 36% who have an unfavorable view. For Durant, 45.6% view him favorably while 37% view him unfavorably. Brooks is the only candidate whose favorability is underwater, with 42.1% viewing him favorably and 47.5% viewing him unfavorably.

The following is a list of names of various people who may have been mentioned in the news recently. For each one, please indicate if you have heard of the person, and if you have, whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of them. If you haven’t heard of a name, choose so. 

CandidateFavUnfavNo OpinionNever heard ofNET Fav
Katie Britt50.736.0%11.6%1.7%+14.7%
Mike Durant45.6%37.0%13.0%4.4%+8.5%
Mo Brooks42.1%47.5%9.3%1.2%-5.4%

Trump’s endorsement could still be on the table in this race. The former president is attempting to solidify his dominance over Republican politics by racking up “wins” in GOP congressional and Senate contests. In the recent Ohio Senate race, Trump’s endorsement of J.D. Vance with just two weeks to go was widely seen as propelling the candidate over the finish line.

The ADN/Gray poll showed that 78.8% of Alabama Republican primary voters have a favorable opinion of Trump, compared to just 19.4% unfavorable. Moreover, 50.7% say that Trump’s endorsement would make them more likely to support a candidate, compared to 32.4% who said it makes no difference and 16.4% who said it would make them less likely to support a candidate. That’s a swing of ten points in Trump’s favor since the same question was asked in March.

Would Donald Trump’s endorsement of a candidate in Alabama make you more or less likely to support that candidate? 

Much more likely27.5%
Somewhat more likely23.2%
Total more likely50.7%
Makes no difference32.4%
Somewhat less likely4.0%
Much less likely12.3%
Total less likely16.4%

Of the voters who are more likely to support a Trump-endorsed candidate, 18.1% are undecided in the Senate race.

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