According to a recent survey conducted by Cygnal, an award-winning polling and analytics firm, Madison County Commission chairman Dale Strong holds a firm lead in the race for Alabama’s open fifth congressional district seat.
The poll shows Strong leading former Huntsville City Schools superintendent Casey Wardynski 45.7% to 30.6%, with 23.7% of surveyed voters being undecided.
The survey, which was conducted June 5-6, consisted of 400 likely Republican primary runoff voters and holds a plus or minus 4.89% margin of error. Participants responded to the survey via interactive voice response and text messages.
According to the polling memo, which was first obtained by Yellowhammer News, Strong is in a “dominant position” to emerge as the victor in the June 21 runoff election.
In the May 24 primary contest, Strong was the top vote-getter as he garnered 44.74% of all votes cast, while Wardynski came in second with 23.04%.
Economic developer John Roberts came in third with 13.29% of the vote, followed by former State Sen. Paul Sanford coming at 11.42%. Huntsville City Schools teacher Andy Blalock and conservative activist Harrison Wright received 5.52% and 1.49% of the vote, respectively.
The Cygnal poll shows that one-third of the survey’s participants hold an unfavorable view of Wardynski, with the candidate holding +9 net favorability. A lion’s share of the retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel’s support comes from what the memo describes as “lower tier candidates.”
Strong holds a +33 net favorability and receives Roberts and Sanford voters by a 27% and 6% margin, respectively. The long-serving Madison County Commission chairman also leads among lower propensity voters.
According to the memo, Strong is most favorable with voters aged 55-69, Madison County residents and very conservative voters.
Wardynski, who polls best among high propensity voters, is running close with his opponent among seniors and extremely conservative voters.
Additionally, cost of living tops the list of issues among Republican fifth congressional district voters. Lowering gas prices emerged as the main concern among voters that align with former President Donald Trump, while fighting inflation is the top issue for traditional GOP voters.
Cyngal’s survey is the first publicly available polling since the Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA) released its survey of the six-candidate GOP primary field in mid-February.
As the race to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) becomes increasingly combative, legal counsel for Strong’s campaign is seeking to push back against a Wardynski-aligned Washington, D.C. super PAC which has embarked on an ad offensive against the Madison County Commission chairman.
An ad released by House Freedom Action, the political arm of the House Freedom Caucus, features a narrator saying Strong “supported higher taxes,” “caved to the woke liberals,” and “shunned President Trump,” with the former president saying “weak” between each claim.
According to a release distributed to media Wednesday morning, Wilmer & Lee, P.A., which is serving as the Strong campaign’s legal representation, sent a letter to local TV station managers saying that the stations “should refuse to continue to air this advertisement until and unless it is corrected.”
The campaign’s counter to House Freedom Action includes arguments refuting the PAC’s claims and shows multiple photos of Strong pictured with the 45th president.
The below document outlines the Strong campaign’s rebuttal to House Freedom Action’s ad:
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL