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Alabama Farmers Federation poll shows close race between Sessions, Tuberville

Yellowhammer News on Tuesday obtained a poll conducted this month by the Alabama Farmers Federation showing a tight race between former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville in Alabama’s 2020 Republican U.S. Senate primary.

This comes after Yellowhammer News earlier in the day reported on a new Sessions internal poll that showed Sessions with a sizable lead.

The Alabama Farmers Federation’s polling is well respected in Yellowhammer State politics. This latest survey was conducted December 1-3 via live callers and measured 600 likely Alabama GOP voters. The margin of error was +/-4.00%.

The poll showed Sessions leading just at the margin of error, coming in at 35% compared to Tuberville’s 31% on the ballot test (when voters were asked who they plan to vote for in the primary).

Next came Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) at 12%, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore at 8% and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) and former televangelist Stanley Adair each with 1%.

When it came to favorability, Sessions enjoyed a 3:1 ratio — 63% viewed him favorably, compared to 21% unfavorably. Sessions had 98% name identification, with 13% saying they had no opinion of him. Tuberville had a ratio above 4:1, at 57% favorable and 14% unfavorable while 9.5% of respondents had never heard of Tuberville and 19.5% had no opinion of him.

Both the Sessions internal poll and the federation poll accounted for Secretary of State John Merrill suspending his campaign the evening of December 1. While the federation began polling earlier that day, they scrapped the 10 Merrill ballot test responses they received on December 1 and took his name out of the survey after he announced the campaign suspension.

Tuberville is endorsed by the federation’s grassroots political arm, FarmPAC. Endorsements are recommended by farmer representatives from all 67 counties on behalf of the organization’s 350,000 member families.

In a statement, Alabama Farmers Federation external affairs director Matthew Durdin expressed that the poll shows Tuberville maintains momentum despite Sessions’ late entry into the race.

“Coach Tuberville’s position as a political outsider who’s committed to fighting the entrenched Washington establishment while supporting Christian values, veterans, farmers and working families resonates with voters,” Durdin said. “He seeks to continue President Trump’s policies which have resulted in record low unemployment and economic growth.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn