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Alabama Attorney General runoff: A case of good polling, and what’s to come

The results are in.

Attorney General Steve Marshall and former Attorney General Troy King will face each other again next month in a Republican primary runoff, the winner of which will go up against Democrat nominee Joseph Siegelman in November’s general election.

Here are a few thoughts on what happened last night, and on what’s to come:

Name recognition seems to have significantly benefitted the candidates.

Both King and Marshall had high name ID among those in the Republican candidate field, according to a poll conducted by WPA Intelligence in late April.

King’s name ID was at 61 percent among the polled primary voters, and Marshall’s was at 43 percent.

The runoff will be close.

Marshall got 28.3 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, and King got 27.9 percent.

Polling of this race was spot on, predicting the matchup between Marshall and King.

The same WPA Intelligence poll found that King’s and Marshall’s favorability among those surveyed were 26 and 24 percent respectively.

There will be attacks.

This sounds pretty sinister but it’s only to say that, in anticipation of such a close race, Marshall and King are going to have to create some separation. The way to do that in politics is typically not very nice.

Other than the candidate vs. candidate stuff, the nastiest attacks will likely come from outside sources, unrelated to the campaigns.

A recent ad put out by Fair Play Alabama, which is not associated with Troy King, accuses Steve Marshall of being the cousin of head of gaming for the Poarch Creek Indians, implying that he is tied to the tribe’s gambling interests.

Earlier in the cycle, an anti-King website posted pictures and links to old blogs attempting to low-blow smear King.

It’s gotten pretty ugly so far, so expect more mud.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News