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Poll shows Ivey with strong approval, growing lead in primary field

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News 

MONTGOMERY, Alabama. – A new poll commissioned by Alabama Daily News and Gray Television shows Gov. Kay Ivey has grown her lead in the Republican primary since a similar poll was taken in August.

Asked who they would vote for if the election was held today, 46.1% of Republican primary voters chose Ivey, while 12.4% chose businessman Tim James and 10.4% chose former U.S. Ambassador Lindy Blanchard. The survey showed that 21.3% of voters remain undecided in the race.

The Republican primary is set for May 24. The governor would have to win above 50% in order to avoid a runoff with the second place finisher.

If the Republican primary election for Governor were held today, and you had to make achoice, who would you vote for?

Kay Ivey46.1%
Tim James12.4%
Lindy Blanchard10.4%
Dean Odle4.7%
Lew Burdette1.6%
Someone else3.4%

Ivey’s lead in the Republican field has grown by 4.5% since August, when a similar poll showed the incumbent governor with 41.5% support while 33% were undecided.

Ivey’s approval rating among Republicans also improved since August. A full 66.6% of Republican voters approve of the way Ivey is handling her job as governor, while 21.6% disapprove. Compare that to the August survey when 60.3% approved of Ivey’s performance and 28.3% disapproved.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Kay Ivey is handling her job as Governor? 

Strongly approve33.0%
Somewhat approve33.6%
Total approve66.6%
Somewhat disapprove13.6%
Strongly disapprove7.9%
Total disapprove21.6%
Neither approve or disapprove10.4%

Ivey’s lead is less, however, than in a McLaughlin and Associates poll taken a week earlier showing her with 60% support among Republican primary voters. That poll included which candidate voters leaned toward and showed just 14.4% remained undecided.

The survey also tested the race for Alabama Supreme Court Place 5. Much like with the August poll, most voters remain undecided in this race that isn’t talked about much outside of Montgomery political circles. Asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, 10.5% chose Greg Cook while 7.3% chose Deborah Jones. A full 82.1% remain undecided.

If the Republican primary election for Supreme Court were held today, and you had to make achoice, who would you vote for?

Greg Cook10.5%
Deborah Jones7.3%

The survey was conducted by Cygnal, an award-winning polling and predictive analysis firm based in Washington, D.C. 600 likely Republican voters were surveyed March 16-17 via interactive voice response and text message. The poll carries a margin for error of +/-4%.

Candidates spend big on TV, Radio

The two best-funded challengers to Ivey are spending heavily on television and radio, showing why they’ve picked up at least some traction in the ADN/Gray poll.

According to the latest campaign finance reports, James spent more than $523,000 on radio and TV, most of it with Red Eagle Media. Blanchard came in second, spending about $477,000 on the air with Virginia-based Multi Media Services Corporation.

Both outspent Ivey, whose campaign shows $424,400 spent on radio and television advertising through Ohio-based Flexpoint Media Inc.

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