By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A new poll shows Tommy Tuberville leading Jeff Sessions by 16 points in the final days of the race for the GOP primary runoff for U.S. Senate.
The survey, conducted by Auburn University Montgomery’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration, shows 47% of Republican voters would choose Tuberville and 31% would choose Sessions in a ballot test, while 22% of voters remain undecided.
AUM Senate Runoff Survey
Sessions’ decision as U.S. Attorney General to recuse himself during the Russian meddling investigation into the 2016 presidential election is cited in the survey as one of the primary reasons he trails Tuberville.
Respondents who said Sessions’ recusal was inappropriate were 33% points less likely to support Sessions compared to those saying his recusal was appropriate.
David Hughes, director of AUM Poll, said that regardless of who wins the runoff, incumbent Democrat Sen. Doug Jones will likely face a difficult battle for reelection in November.
“With a margin of error of five percentage points, Sessions leads Jones in a head-to-head matchup with 49% of voters’ support to Jones’ 43 percent support,” Hughes said in a statement. “Tuberville, however, leads Jones with 44% of voters’ support to Jones’ 35 percent support, with nearly 10 percent of Sessions’ supporters indicating their intent to write-in another candidate.”
The poll was the result of an online survey of a total of 558 registered Alabama voters from July 2-9. The results were weighted according to population demographics to ensure a representative sample of Alabamians, Hughes said. The margin for error is 5.1% with a 90% confidence interval.
Sessions has continued to trail Tuberville in polls but has gained some ground since a mid-May poll that showed Tuberville leading the race by 23 points.
Another poll conducted by the Sessions campaign in June showed just a 6 point difference between Tuberville and Sessions.
Sessions has faced attacks from President Donald Trump on Twitter over his recusal but has ramped up his attacks on Tuberville for his handling of a hedge fund and calling him ill-prepared to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate in the last week of campaigning before the runoff election Tuesday.