As reported by The Hill, Fox News has released a new poll suggesting that Roy Moore and Doug Jones are virtually tied in the race for Alabama senate at 42 percent of the vote a piece.
The poll also found that 11 percent of voters were unsure of who they were voting for, while another three percent responded “other.” Meanwhile, the poll found that 42 percent of Moore voters expressed that they had some doubts about the candidate, as opposed to 48 percent who said they strongly supported the Republican.
On the Democrat’s side, the poll found that just 28 percent of Jones’ supporters had doubts about their candidate. However, 21 percent of his voters said they were simply voting against Moore and not necessarily for Jones.
Additionally, the poll claimed that only 77 percent of Republicans were likely to support Moore, as opposed to 85 percent of Democrats who were likely to support Jones. It also found that Alabama voters are split on their opinion of President Trump, with 48 percent seeing him positively and 47 percent seeing him negatively.
These findings represent a dramatic departure from previous outcomes in recent Alabama elections. Alabama elected Donald Trump by a 28 point margin and nominated Moore as a slap to the face to establishment Republicans, making even the most casual political observers incredulous to these findings.
So what do we make of this Fox News poll?
According to Breitbart News, the methodology skewed the results. Breitbart points out that two research firms contributed to the poll: Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company. Their data “reveals not only the strange questions asked per group but also the small sample size, the overreliance (and need for correction) on cell vs. landline users (i.e., traditionally younger vs. traditionally older voters).”
Moreover, Anderson Robbins is run by Christopher Anderson, a Democrat strategist who most notably worked for John Kerry. Shaw & Company, on the other hand, is run by Daron Shaw. Shaw has had a long track record of promoting establishment GOP candidates such as Lindsay Graham and Bob Corker. The point is, both of these firms are likely predisposed to give Democrats a sense of hope that Doug Jones can defeat Roy Moore.
While polls can be insightful, most are conducted with the desired outcome in mind.