3 months ago

Non-internal poll confirms Tuberville leading GOP Senate field as Sessions mulls bid

Another poll conducted this month showed former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville with a double-digit lead among Alabama’s announced Republican U.S. Senate candidates.

The poll was conducted by Montgomery-based Cygnal from October 10-12 and had a sample size of 536 likely 2020 GOP primary voters.

Cygnal is a nationally recognized and awarded polling firm that was commended last year for having the most accurate polls nationwide leading up to the 2018 midterms. The poll was not commissioned on behalf of any of the candidates in the field.

Tuberville led the pack at 32%, followed by Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) with 18%.

Then came former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (10.6%), Secretary of State John Merrill (8.6%), State Rep. Arnold Mooney (2%) and Stanley Adair (1%). Of the respondents, 27.9% were undecided.

Tuberville led solidly in all in-state media markets except Mobile — the area which Byrne represents in Washington, D.C. Byrne carried 53.3% of this district, compared to Tuberville’s 13.2%, Moore’s 7.5% and Merrill’s 2.6%.

In the Birmingham media market, which is by far Alabama’s largest, Tuberville garnered 39.7% of the vote. This was followed by Byrne at 12.1%, Moore at 10.8%, Merrill at 9.9% and Mooney at 1.7%.

The Huntsville media market broke down with Tuberville at 29%, Byrne at 14.1%, Moore at 10.6%, Merrill at 7.9% and Mooney at 4.1%.

Finally, the Montgomery media market (which also included the Dothan submarket) showed Tuberville at 33%, Moore at 12.2%, Merrill at 10.6%, Byrne at 10.1% and Mooney at 1.5%.

This poll came before the start of Mooney’s television advertisements could affect poll numbers.

Additionally, the results do not account for what the potential entry of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions into the race would mean for the field.

Yellowhammer News has learned that Sessions has been taking meetings and making calls regarding a run for his old Senate seat.  He is now strongly considering mounting a candidacy.

Qualifying closes November 8. All of the announced candidates besides Moore have already qualified.

A previous Senate poll conducted by Cygnal from June 22-23 had the following statewide results: Tuberville led the field at 29.3%, followed by Byrne with 21.4%, Moore with 13%, Merrill with 11.8% and Mooney with 2.2%, while 22.3% of respondents were undecided.

All other polls of the current field, including internals and an Alabama Farmers Federation-conducted poll, have shown Tuberville leading. His lead has grown with time.

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

2 hours ago

7 Things: Push for impeachment trial witnesses is complicated, Sessions surges as Tuberville stalls, eight dead in boat dock fire and more …

7. Rallying outside of Doug Jones’ office over impeachment

  • A group of people gathered together outside of U.S. Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) office in Birmingham to ask Jones to acquit President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.
  • There’s another rally planned for Mobile. Last week, there was a rally held outside of Jones’ office in Huntsville.

6. Alabama mayors want violent offenders to stay in jail


  • The mayors from the 10 largest cities in Alabama met to discuss a range of issues, one of them being judges being given more ability to deny bail for those accused of violent crimes. State Representative Chip Brown (R-Mobile) is currently sponsoring a constitutional amendment that would give judges more freedom with this issue.
  • At the meeting, Mayor Tommy Battle referenced the death of Huntsville police officer Billy Clardy ⅠⅠⅠ, saying, “We lost an officer to someone who never should have been out of jail from another state.”

5. Immigration restrictions allowed by Supreme Court

  • The “public charge” restriction on immigration has been allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is the restriction that would allow the government to deny immigrants entry if they were believed to require public assistance.
  • The vote was 5-4, dividing the court’s conservatives and liberals. A senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Disability Rights Program Claudia Center said, “This policy is yet another way for the Trump administration to hurt immigrants. It enshrines the false stereotype that people with disabilities do not contribute to our society. Families will suffer. Congress has repeatedly declared that disability discrimination violates federal law. This rule must be stopped.”

4. Education lottery coming to Alabama legislature

  • State Representative Steve Clouse (R-Dothan) said that he will be introducing a constitutional amendment that would bring an education lottery to the ballot for voters in November. Clouse said that the “general sentiment … is that it needs to be dedicated to education.”
  • Half of the money brought in by the paper lottery would go to Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program, while the other half would go to college scholarships. According to Clouse, the fiscal office has estimated that the lottery could bring in $167 million per year. He believes this is the kind of lottery constituents want.

3. Eight deaths confirmed in Jackson County fire

  • In the fire that burned at least 35 vessels at Guntersville Lake, Scottsboro Fire Chief Gene Necklaus has confirmed that the eight people who were previously said to be missing died during the fire.
  • Necklaus did say that “that number could go up” as they discover more from the boats that sank. There have been at least seven people hospitalized from the incident.

2. Sessions is leading while Tuberville falls

  • New internal Sessions campaign polling data released by Breitbart News and conducted by Wes Anderson of On Message, Inc. shows that former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions leads the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Alabama polling at 43%.
  • U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) has moved up to second place with 22%, while former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville is in third with 21%.

1. Witnesses seem like a long shot still

  • After the release of a story concerning former National Security Advisor John Bolton, some Republicans are likely to vote for witnesses while Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA) is suggesting a one-for-one trade seems more likely to want to see witnesses
  • Republicans will want to see witnesses like U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), former Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and the whistleblower, all of which Democrats have declared as non-starters.

4 hours ago

Dale Jackson: Why won’t Doug Jones just say he wants to remove Trump?

Yes, President Donald Trump seemed to lie about withholding aid from Ukraine to get the investigation into the Bidens and Ukraine. No, he will not be removed from office.

You know this, Donald Trump knows this, the media knows this, John Bolton knows this and even U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) knows this.

He also knows that he will be voting to remove the President of the United States from office and all his protestations about needing more information are just theater so he can pretend he is being thoughtful of the process.


He said it in December.

He said it last week.

He said it Sunday.

If there are real concerns about what went on here, have the House of Representatives investigate the matter fully and call witnesses.

But does this mean the whistleblower, Joe Biden and Hunter Biden need to testify?

Of course not.

Have witnesses, don’t have witnesses — the outcome has been predetermined from the very beginning

He did this same dance during the confirmation hearings of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. His vote was predetermined from the beginning.

But he pretended otherwise before giving away the game and giving us a preview of his vote.

Every U.S. Senator has made up his mind about this situation, as have most Americans.

Stop the charade. Let’s stop pretending we don’t know where this is going, and let’s move on.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.

14 hours ago

Alabama super PAC supporting Byrne launches TV blitz — ‘Stands strong with President Trump’

Yellowhammer News on Monday confirmed that Fighting for Alabama Fund, Inc. is launching a significant, multi-week television advertising buy.

Fighting for Alabama Fund is a federal independent expenditure committee, colloquially known as a super PAC, supporting Congressman Bradley Byrne’s (AL-01) Republican 2020 U.S. Senate bid.

A source with direct knowledge told Yellowhammer News that the total buy will be in the six-figures across the Birmingham and Huntsville media markets. The buy is scheduled to start on Tuesday.

The 30-second ad, entitled “Kidding Me,” highlights Byrne’s approximately 97% record of voting with President Donald Trump while in Congress.


In the ad, a narrator calls Byrne “one of President Trump’s strongest defenders.”

The spot features clips of Byrne publicly fighting against Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump. One of these clips provides the ad’s namesake phrase.

“Conservative Bradley Byrne: pro-life, pro-gun, pro-wall,” the narrator adds. “97% pro-Trump voting record and proud of it. Conservative Bradley Byrne. He stands strong with President Trump.”


The placement of the pro-Byrne super PAC’s ad buy came the day that former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate campaign released an internal poll showing Sessions at 43%, Byrne at 22% and former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville at 21%.

A previous Sessions internal poll conducted by the same pollster with the same methodology December 3 – 5 showed Sessions at 44%, followed by Tuberville at 21% and Byrne at 14%.

Byrne, since that poll was conducted in early December, has been advertising significantly on television, which explains his eight-point jump. Sessions and Tuberville have not been advertising on television, explaining their relative stagnation.

Byrne’s camp reacted to the latest Sessions internal with enthusiasm, taking it as a sign their TV ads are resonating with voters and that they have the momentum to make a runoff.

The super PAC’s ad buy may very well be looking to keep the momentum going.

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

15 hours ago

Merrill to attend Trump’s ceremony for signing of USMCA

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill announced Monday that he will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to join President Donald Trump at the legislative signing ceremony for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Wednesday, January 29.

The USMCA is one of Donald Trump’s signature achievements during his first three years as president. The trade deal is a revision of the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) with new provisions that aim to modernize the trading relationships between the North American continent’s three biggest economies.


Alabama’s secretary of state oversees the state’s business filings. As such, the holder of the office is in tune with the needs and demands of the state’s business community.

Merrill made his support of the agreement public before it was passed by Congress. In 2019, he released a letter that read in part, “Alabama’s international engagement fuels job growth and increases exports. Alabama businesses’ success depends on the participation and competitiveness with its global counterparts.”

The USMCA passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan support, including “yes” votes from some of President Trump’s staunchest opponents like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and the trade-skeptical Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

The entirety of Alabama’s congressional delegation voted in favor of the USMCA.

A statement from Merrill’s office said that he “looks forward to joining President Trump and other elected officials from across the country on this historic day.”

Merrill stated, “Trade is vital to our state, and the USMCA will help to boost local economies and allow for Alabama-made products to be shipped internationally. I am grateful for the leadership demonstrated by President Trump and his Administration, as well as the Alabama congressional delegation.”

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

16 hours ago

State Rep. Clouse to propose a lottery bill that would fund education initiatives

Alabama State Representative Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) will introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session that would amend Alabama’s constitution to create a state-operated lottery. The bill would direct 100% of the revenue generated by the lottery to education programs.

Clouse says that half of the funds would go to the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education for the state’s pre-k program, while the other half would go to scholarship-type programs that would assist students that need help paying for college.


“The scholarship part we’d have to develop language along the lines on the Tennessee Promise … primarily career tech degrees that we so sorely need right now,” Clouse told Yellowhammer News.

Clouse pointed out that after Missippi’s lottery opened in late 2019, each of the states that border Alabama now has a lottery. The Wiregrass native believes that this could help spur the bill on to passage after numerous efforts have stalled in recent years.

Clouse stated, “You know, it sort of gets to the point of being ridiculous that we don’t have a lottery.”

The lottery under Clouse’s proposal would be what is commonly referred to as a “paper lottery.” It would include scratch-off tickets, as well as participation in multi-state lotteries that Alabamians may have seen on billboards in neighboring states such as Mega Millions.

Clouse referred to estimates from the Legislative Fiscal Office that estimate the lottery would generate around $160 million a year. He also added that many surrounding states have beaten their revenue estimates once implemented.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.