Poll finds conservative with huge lead over Trump-backed Alabama candidate

Roy Moore has a nearly 20-point lead over Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), the candidate backed by President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) in Alabama’s Senate special election, according to a new poll.

The survey conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling found the former chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court with 51 percent support, compared to 32 percent for Strange.

The two will face one another in a runoff election to be the GOP nominee on Sept. 26.

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Moore won the first battle of the primary on Tuesday, taking 39 percent to Strange’s 31 percent. Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksOvernight Defense: Senate confirms US military’s first African American service chief | Navy to ban display of Confederate flags | GOP lawmakers urge Trump not to cut troops in Germany Republicans urge Trump to reject slashing US troop presence in Germany Conservative lawmakers press Trump to suspend guest worker programs for a year MORE (R-Ala.) fell out of the contest, taking 19 percent of the vote.

Whoever wins the GOP nomination will be the favorite in the general election to succeed Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE, the GOP senator who gave up his seat to serve as Trump’s attorney general. Strange was appointed to fill the seat until the election.

Still, Moore’s win would give Democrats a ray of hope that they could contend for the seat.

And if Moore is elected, it would give McConnell a difficult new senator to contend with in Washington.

Trump’s endorsement did little to help Strange, according to the JMC Analytics poll.

Twenty-five percent of respondents said Trump’s backing made them more likely to support Strange, while 23 percent said it made them less likely to. Fifty-one percent were unmoved by the endorsement.

The survey was conducted from Aug. 17-19 and recorded 515 complete responses from registered voters in Alabama. The margin of error is 4.3 percent. 

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