8 months ago

Poll: Coleman could win AL-02 GOP primary without runoff

New polling obtained Friday morning by Yellowhammer News shows a potential blowout on the horizon in the March 3 Republican primary to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (AL-02).

We Ask America, a national polling firm based in Illinois, conducted a survey January 14-15 of 600 likely GOP primary voters. The margin of error was ±3.99%. Of the responses, 240 were recorded via cell phone text message, while 360 were conducted via automated landline calls.

The survey measured the popularity of President Donald J. Trump among the Second Congressional District’s Republicans, as well as the favorability ratings and ballot test (when voters are asked who they would vote for if the primary were held today) in the congressional primary race.

On the ballot test, a whopping 43% chose Wiregrass businessman Jeff Coleman. Next came former Alabama Attorney General Troy King at 16%, followed by former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) at 8% and Prattville businesswoman Jessica Taylor at 5%. Finally, 25% were undecided and a total of about 4% chose lesser known candidates.

When respondents were asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion about each candidate, Coleman again rose above the rest. The results showed 57% answered favorable, compared to just 9% unfavorable. Of the respondents, 33% had no opinion (which could include having never heard of the candidate). It should be noted that 30% specified they view Coleman “very” favorably as opposed to 27% choosing “somewhat” favorably; 5% marked very unfavorable compared to 4% somewhat unfavorable.

King and Moore seemed to have relatively similar name identification levels as Coleman, just with lower favorability.

For King, 46% responded favorable (13% very, 33% somewhat) and 23% answered unfavorable (14% very, 9% somewhat), while 31% had no opinion.

When it came to Moore, 39% viewed him favorably (13% very, 26% somewhat) and 23% chose unfavorable (15% very, 8% somewhat), while 39% had no opinion.

Taylor, a first time candidate who has spent little money in the race, trailed when it came to name identification, which also explains her fourth place position on the ballot test. For Taylor, 22% of respondents marked favorable (7% very, 15% somewhat) compared to 13% unfavorable (9% very, 4% somewhat), while 65% had no opinion.

Coleman, also a newcomer to running for political office, has had success raising money in the race while also investing personal funds into the campaign. He has been advertising on television, radio, digital and billboards, and his campaign’s strategy appears to be paying off. The We Ask America polling comes on the heels of a new internal poll which also showed Coleman with a major lead.

Additionally, the We Ask America polling asked respondents who their second choice would be on the ballot test if they could not vote for their first choice. For that question, Moore performed best, garnering 19%, followed by King at 18%, Coleman at 17% and Taylor at 7%, while 34% were undecided.

On a weighted combined ballot, factoring in both the first choice and second choice questions, that would mean Coleman came in at 53%, with King at 26%, Moore at 20% and Taylor at 9%.

Finally, 76% of respondents stated that they strongly approve of Trump’s job approval, 14% somewhat approve, 6% strongly disapprove and 2% somewhat disapprove.

You can view the poll toplines here and crosstabs here.

We Ask America also released a polling memo to Yellowhammer News featuring their main takeaways about the survey.

One bullet point stated, “Jeff Coleman has a massive lead and could avoid a runoff. Riding his impressive image with likely Republican primary voters, Coleman receives 43% of the vote, 27-points higher than his next closest opponent, Troy King, who sits at 16%. Barry Moore at 8% and Jessica Taylor at 5% come in a distant third and fourth, respectively. While 25% of voters remain undecided, Coleman is best positioned to capture a large portion of that vote. 22% have a favorable opinion of Coleman versus 12% having an unfavorable opinion (net +10). If Coleman can convince just a quarter of those undecided voters to vote for him, he should win outright and avoid a runoff.”

“If Coleman fails to clinch outright, Barry Moore could sneak past Troy King for second place. While King leads Moore by 8% overall (16%- 8%), Moore is better positioned to capture some of the remaining undecided voters. Of the 25% who say they are undecided, Moore has an image of net +7% (22% Fav/17% Unfav), while King is underwater at net -2% (24% Fav/26% Unfav). While it ultimately won’t matter if Coleman eclipses 50%, the race for second should be a close one,” the memo continued.

The final point read, “In a runoff, Jeff Coleman will still be the overwhelming favorite. If Coleman is forced into a runoff, he is well positioned to immediately capture the votes of those who failed to advance. 53% of voters list Coleman among their top two choices, while the next highest is Troy King at just 26%. Additionally, 31% of King voters and 27% of Moore voters choose Coleman as their second choice, higher than any other candidate.”

Fundraising disclosures for the fourth quarter of 2019 are due on January 31. Those FEC reports should indicate which, if any, candidate(s) will have the funds to force and make a runoff with Coleman.

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

Bryant Museum to reopen in time for football season

Just in time for the University of Alabama football season, the Paul W. Bryant Museum is reopening to visitors.

The museum, which closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus, is now Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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“The Bryant Museum staff is excited to reopen, and we invite all Alabama fans to join us as we get ready for another season of Crimson Tide football,” said Ken Gaddy, director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum. “With safety being our first concern, we are limiting the number of days we will be open and using a timed ticket system to limit the number of visitors in the exhibit hall.”

A limited number of tickets will be sold every 30 minutes to ensure capacity in the exhibit hall remains at a safe amount. Visitors must secure their tickets online before arriving at the museum. Visitors will also be required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing while inside the museum.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

2 hours ago

Alabama surge needed in 2020 Census participation

It’s the final week of the 2020 Census, and Alabama is counting on every household to submit its survey by Sept. 30. This quick, easy questionnaire collects information that determines Alabama’s federal representation in the U.S. Congress and funding levels for the next decade.

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Help shape Alabama’s bottom line by completing the 2020 Census in one of three ways:

  1. Online at my2020census.gov.
  2. By phone at 1-844-330-2020.
  3. By traditional paper form you received in the mail.

Any information given in the 2020 Census is strictly protected by federal law.

A reduction in Alabama’s census could have adverse impacts to federally funded public service programs that affect every single resident.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, lawmakers, business owners and other entities will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, clinics, roads and more services for families, older adults and children. The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.

For information on the 2020 Census, get the facts here.

View the 2020 Census questions and learn why they are asked.

Visit Privacy and Security to read about how the U.S. Census Bureau protects your household information.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

4 hours ago

Racers coming to Alabama for world’s longest annual paddle race

Paddlers from across the United States will be racing each other down 650 miles of Alabama’s scenic rivers later this month in the Great Alabama 650, the world’s longest annual paddle race.

The second annual Great Alabama 650 begins Sept. 26 on Weiss Lake in Centre. Racers will have 10 days to reach Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay via the core section of the Alabama Scenic River Trail, the longest river trail in a single state. Laura Gaddy, communications director of the trail, said this year’s race will be different.

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“In 2019, racers with a wide range of skill level and paddling experience competed in the Great Alabama 650, but just three boats made it to the finish line,” Gaddy said. “Even advanced paddlers had to drop out of the race before finishing, underscoring that this race is best suited for paddlers with a proven record. Therefore, this year we limited registration to paddlers who have competed in previous races. As a result, this year’s class of entrants is even more competitive than the inaugural class.”

Paddlers compete in nation’s longest state river trail from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The field features 16 racers, including 2019 overall winner Bobby Johnson, as well as female solo winner Sallie O’Donnell and Alabama native Ryan Gillikin. Johnson covered more than 85 miles per day to finish the race in seven days, 8 hours, 1 minute and 55 seconds.

“Several of our racers have not only completed some of the toughest paddle races in the world, they have won them,” Gaddy said. “Some are or have been professional paddlers. Others have represented the United States in paddling competitions abroad.”

Alabama’s diverse habitats are on full display during the race as competitors experience rushing whitewater, ambling river delta and everything in between. The course includes portages around several Alabama Power dams.

“The Great Alabama 650 elevates our state to the international stage and points to the 600-plus-mile Alabama Scenic River Trail as one of the premiere paddle destinations in the United States,” Gaddy said. “Even the most competitive athletes can be encumbered by the unpredictable challenges presented by the natural world. This is a race to watch.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced race organizers to restrict portages to race staff, crews and racers. Gaddy said there are still plenty of ways for fans to cheer on the racers.

“There are several ways to track the progress of the competitors without leaving your home,” Gaddy said. “Race updates are reported on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, and viewers can visit AL650.com to see our live map, which is updated at least every 2 minutes.”

Viewers can also track the race on social media using the race hashtag #AL650, which may link viewers to behind-the-scene photos posted by racers and their crew members.

“Last year several people with a waterfront property also stood out on their piers to cheer the racers,” Gaddy said. “Some even made signs. When the racers made it to the finish line, they said that the support they received from these spectators helped them to keep going when the race got tough.”

The race, which is sponsored this year by Cahaba BrewingMustang SurvivalMammoth Clothing and Alabama Power, begins Sept. 26 on Weiss Lake in Centre. The prize purse will be awarded across three categories: Male Solo, Female Solo and Team. To follow the progress of the competition or to learn more, visit al650.com.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

6 hours ago

Nick Saban: Time for Crimson Tide to flip switch from practice to game mode

Alabama coach Nick Saban said his Crimson Tide football team is showing the right effort and intensity in practice, but it’s time to flip the switch and start finishing plays like they would in a game.

“We haven’t played a game in a long time,” Saban said. “We’ve got to get out of practice mode and make sure we’re practicing to develop the habits that are gonna become a part of our DNA as competitors in terms of how we play in a game.”

Alabama opens the season on the road against Missouri at 6 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Nick Saban: Crimson Tide focuses on finishing as season kickoff approaches from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

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7 hours ago

College football picks — SEC week 1 and more

The Season of Sankey officially gets underway today. The SEC takes the field for the first time this fall as a result of conference commissioner Greg Sankey’s well-planned approach to playing football amid COVID-19 conditions.

During the last two weeks, a parade of conferences have backtracked on plans to cancel their seasons and put in place schedules set to kick off beginning next month. If only they had followed one simple rule: be more like Sankey.

No doubt the season will be unusual. Expect the unexpected. And, as always, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are a few picks.

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THE BASICS

No. 2 Alabama (-29) at Missouri: The Crimson Tide have the fewest non-COVID questions of any team in the country. They also have the most talented roster. Missouri will have a tough time scoring while Nick Saban gets to pick his team’s score.

The pick: Alabama 41, Missouri 9

No. 4 Georgia (-28) at Arkansas: Not a lot of intrigue here, either. The D’Wan Mathis era begins. Georgia wins. Maybe the only real question is: how will Kirby Smart handle dipping and wearing a mask at the same time?

The pick: Georgia 34, Arkansas 7

No. 5 Florida (-14) at Ole Miss: Everyone loves Lane. We get it. But there is a difference in these rosters. Through rain, sleet or snow — or direct deposit — Kiffin will recruit better talent to Oxford in the coming years. Right now, Florida is a markedly better team top-to-bottom.

The pick: Florida 52, Ole Miss 20

No. 8 Auburn (-6.5) at Kentucky: Everyone and their momma is taking Kentucky and the points in this game, not to mention the number of people picking the outright upset. Is it bowl game fatigue? Is it Auburn’s losses on the defensive line? We don’t know. What we do know is that Chad Morris may be the best offensive coordinator in the country if Gus Malzahn lets him cook.

The pick: Auburn 35, Kentucky 24

BUYER BEWARE

No. 16 Tennessee (-3.5) at South Carolina: This is a “the barely proven head coach got a raise the week before playing the first game” pick. Plus, South Carolina finally has some actual structure on offense with the addition of Mike Bobo as offensive coordinator and a serviceable starter at quarterback in Collin Hill.

The pick: South Carolina 20, Tennessee 16

West Virginia at No. 15 Oklahoma State (-6.5): This pick breaks two important rules: 1) don’t make a pick because of a coach, and 2) be very wary of the heavily public side. Neal Brown is a rising star. Mike Gundy is something other than that. Neither team has played a game that matters yet, but they looked very different in their respective first weeks. Let’s join the crowd.

The pick: West Virginia 30, Oklahoma State 21

BONUS

Mississippi State at No. 6 LSU (-16.5): How can we not make a pick in the first-ever SEC game coached by two non-English speakers? All offseason we have heard people ponder about whether Mike Leach’s system will work in the SEC. Any system will work if you have good enough players. The Bulldogs currently do not. On the other hand, one can only imagine the carnage in Baton Rouge post-national championship. At least Coach O gave us this gem.

The pick: LSU 33, Mississippi State 16

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia