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Internal poll shows Britt ahead in U.S. Senate race

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A new internal poll of likely GOP primary voters released by Katie Britt’s U.S. Senate campaign shows the first-time candidate now with a slight lead.

The online survey conducted by TargetPoint on behalf of the campaign showed Britt leading a ballot test 31% to Congressman Mo Brooks’ 30%, with Mike Durant at 12% and Jessica Taylor at 7%. A full 20% of respondents were undecided, according to the internal Britt poll.

If you had to vote in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, who would you vote for?

Katie Britt31%
Mo Brooks30%
Mike Durant12%
Jessica Taylor7%

If accurate, the poll would show a major swing toward Britt since an Alabama Daily News / Cygnal survey in August showed her trailing Brooks 41% to 18%.

In a memo detailing the results, TargetPoint’s Brent Seaborn attributed the swing to the focus on grassroots campaigning and recent super PAC television, radio and digital advertising campaign supporting her.

“After months of grassroots campaigning and recent television and print ad buys supporting her, Katie has climbed from the single digits to now holding a slight lead against Mo Brooks,” Seaborn wrote.

The survey included an informed ballot test, sometimes known as a push poll, that consists of painting the candidates with preferred lines of messaging and then asking which respondents would then choose. The Britt campaign would not provide ADN with this messaging language, but did confirm that the first ballot test question came before the push questions, so as to not taint the top line numbers.

The Britt campaign also shared the survey’s favorability numbers, which are used to measure voters’ general awareness and attitudes towards candidates.

According to the survey, Britt is seen favorably by 59% of GOP primary voters and unfavorably by 7%. Brooks is seen favorably by 55% and unfavorably by 16%. Durant is seen favorably by 40% and unfavorably by 11% and Taylor is seen favorably by 26% and unfavorably by 9%.

Candidate Favorability 

FavorableUnfavorableNo OpinionNever Heard of
Katie Britt59%7%12%22%
Mo Brooks55%16%17%12%
Mike Durant40%11%19%30%
Jessica Taylor26%11%19%30%

According to the TargetPoint memo, the poll surveyed 300 likely GOP primary voters in Alabama using online interviews and has a margin for error of +/- 5.66%.

Online polls can be suspect, especially if the sample size is not restricted and respondents can be recruited to stuff the box, so to speak. Asked for details to show the poll’s veracity, the Britt campaign provided Alabama Daily News with TargetPoint’s methodology of targeting and weighting respondents to achieve the predicted demographics and geography of the Alabama GOP electorate.

Ninety-three percent of respondents were white while 5% were black and 2% another race. Fifty-one percent were male and 49% were female. Fifty-one percent of respondents had no college degree while 49% had a college degree.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they voted for President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, while 5% voted for someone else, 5% did not vote and 3% preferred not to answer.

Geographically, the poll broke down by the following media markets:

  • Birmingham-Anniston: 39%
  • Huntsville-Decatur-Florence-Chattanooga: 23%
  • Mobile-Pensacola: 15%
  • Montgomery: 10%
  • Dothan: 8%
  • Auburn-Columbus-Atlanta: 4%

Polls in the closely watched Alabama Senate race have shown varied results between the top two candidates. An April survey conducted by Club For Growth, which supports Brooks, showed the North Alabama Congressman leading with 59% of the vote to Britt’s 9% before the latter had even entered the race. The aforementioned ADN/ Cygnal poll in August showed Brooks at 40.8% to Britt’s 17.7% with 31.8% remaining undecided. A Public Opinion Strategies poll in September showed Brooks led Britt 41% to 11% with 39% undecided. And a second Club for Growth poll in October showed Brooks leading Britt 55% to 12%.

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