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Internal poll shows Jerry Carl moving into second place in AL-01 GOP primary

A polling memo obtained by Yellowhammer News on Wednesday shows former State Senator Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) leading the field in Alabama’s First Congressional District Republican primary, followed by Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl and State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile).

Public Opinion Strategies, a well-respected national polling firm with extensive experience in Alabama, conducted the survey November 18-19 on behalf of the Carl campaign. The districtwide poll surveyed 300 likely Republican primary voters, with a resulting margin of error of 5.66%.

The results were as follows:

Candidate August November Movement
Bill Hightower 27% 29% +2
Jerry Carl 13% 20% +7
Chris Pringle 14% 14%
Wes Lambert 2% 2%
John Castorani NA 0%

The memo, written by Robert Blizzard, advised, “With about three months to go until the Republican primary in Alabama, the early momentum in this Congressional open seat is clearly behind Jerry Carl, who has just begun to break through with a smart and efficient initial paid media and grassroots campaign.”

Blizzard concluded by stressing the need for Carl’s campaign to be well-funded enough and prepared to deal with negative attacks, including from “third-party anti-Trump special interest groups.”

The publication of this memo comes after Club for Growth recently released a poll claiming Hightower had a 19-point lead in the race. Club for Growth’s political arm has endorsed and is supporting Hightower’s candidacy.

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Carl campaign manager Zachary Weidlich said, “The voters of south Alabama will not be fooled by an out of state, special interest group who opposed Donald Trump and who supports open borders.”

“Our polling shows that when people know all three candidates, they overwhelmingly choose Jerry Carl because he is a strong supporter of our conservative values and will fight the socialist takeover in Congress,” he added. “The voters of south Alabama want a conservative who will stand for life, protect our Second Amendment rights, and fight with Donald Trump to build the wall. An anti-Trump, pro-immigration group has picked their candidate, but conservatives have a fighter for their values in Jerry Carl. Since this race started we are the only campaign who has grown our share of the electorate and we will continue to grow as we head towards the March 3rd primary. We are in a strong position to win the primary because of our conservative message, and our polling shows this to be true.”

As of the end of the third quarter, Carl led his opponents in cash-on-hand with $741,307. Hightower had $447,611, Pringle had $215,437 and Lambert had $109,579. Castorani declared his candidacy after the latest fundraising reports were filed.

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