5 years ago

Poll shows Huckabee the early frontrunner in Alabama, other candidates close behind

Mike Huckabee, R-Arkansas
Mike Huckabee, R-Arkansas

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A survey by nationally-known public opinion research firm McLaughlin & Associates shows former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to be the early frontrunner in a 2016 Alabama presidential primary fight that could see a half-dozen or more candidates with a legitimate shot to win the state’s 50 Republican National Convention delegates.

The scientific poll of 500 likely Republican primary voters, which was shared exclusively with Yellowhammer News, shows a crowded field led by Huckabee and followed closely by famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

The current polling numbers are as follows:

Mike Huckabee — 19 percent
Ben Carson — 15 percent
Undecided — 14.6 percent
Jeb Bush — 13.4 percent
Scott Walker — 8.4 percent
Marco Rubio — 8 percent
Rand Paul — 6.6 percent
Ted Cruz — 5.6 percent
Chris Christie — 2.2 percent
Rick Perry — 1.8 percent
Rick Santorum — 1.8 percent
Carly Fiorina — 1.8 percent
John Kasich — 1 percent
Bobby Jindal — 0.8 percent

Huckabee’s position atop the survey comes as no surprise in the Yellowhammer State, whose large swath of “values voters” propelled the former Arkansas governor to a 2008 Alabama Republican primary victory. Huckabee garnered 41.25 percent of the vote that year, besting eventual nominee John McCain (37.1 percent), future nominee Mitt Romney (17.75 percent) and libertarian icon Ron Paul (2.68 percent).

Huckabee’s continued popularity in the poll stands in stark contrast to Alabama’s 2012 Republican primary victor, Rick Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator received 34.55 percent of the vote in 2012, edging out Newt Gingrich (29.28 percent) and eventual nominee Mitt Romney (28.97 percent). In the latest survey, he stands in tenth place with less than 2 percent support.

McLaughlin & Associates president Jim McLaughlin told Yellowhammer Tuesday the poll is reflective of the fact that an eye-popping 72.8 percent of Alabama Republican primary voters identify themselves as Evangelical Christians. However, it is too early to tell what will happen over the nine months between now and election day, he added.

“The presidential race is wide open at this point, as you would expect this early on. It’s very fluid,” said McLaughlin. “Huckabee — who’s viewed as the Christian, moral conservative — is the frontrunner right now, but voters are just starting to get to know a lot of the candidates. Alabamians are looking for a leader who will change the course the country is on, and they’re open to hearing that message from a lot of different candidates.”

Alabama has actively sought to increase its role in the presidential nominating process and has joined with five other nearby states to form an “SEC Primary” that proponents say will force candidates to pay more attention to southern conservatives.


8 mins ago

Navy considering Mobile as location to dismantle retired nuclear aircraft carrier

The U.S. Navy has added the city of Mobile to the list of possible locations for where it will dismantle the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.

The Navy has commenced a “scoping period” during which the feasibility of using Mobile will be considered, and public comments are being welcomed. The period for the public to comment will last from August 12 until September 11.

Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Navy will not be able to hold in-person meetings, so any citizen with comments or questions on the proposed dismantling will have to submit their thoughts online or through the postal service.

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As noted on the Navy’s website on the dismantling, “The removal of the nuclear fuel from the decommissioned ex-Enterprise (CVN 65) reactor plants has already taken place and is not part of the proposed action.”

If the Navy decides to undertake the method of dismantlement that facilities at the Port of Mobile are capable of providing, then Alabama’s port city would be competing with facilities in Brownsville, Texas, and Newport News, Virginia.

The Navy is also considering three other alternatives for dealing with the ex-Enterprise that, if chosen, would mean Mobile is out of the running.

According to the Navy, the Enterprise was first commissioned in 1961 and sailed over one million miles during its more than 50 years of service. The ship was decommissioned in 2017.

More information on the project can be accessed here.

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

21 mins ago

National Right to Life Committee endorses Republican Jerry Carl in AL-01

Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl, the Republican nominee in Alabama’s First Congressional District, announced on Wednesday that he has been endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

Carol Tobias, president of the NRLC, stated that Carl is “a strong advocate for life” and supports “pro-life legislation, including the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would protect unborn children who can feel pain by prohibiting abortion at 20 weeks, a point by which the unborn child is capable of experiencing great pain when being killed by dismemberment or other late term abortion methods.”

“This endorsement reflects your commitment to strengthening a culture of life throughout the nation and in the U.S. Congress. We look forward to working with you to protect the most vulnerable members of the human family,” she wrote to Carl.

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Carl, after winning the GOP primary runoff last month, will face Democrat James Averhart in November’s general election.

“I am humbled to earn the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee,” Carl said in a statement. “The NRLC has been a consistent advocate for the unborn, and I look forward to working with them to continue advancing the pro-life cause as we push back against liberal activists who are pushing abortion on demand. In Congress, I will work tirelessly to protect the most vulnerable members of the human family, and I will never waiver from my stance of being 100% pro-life.”

This comes after Carl last week was endorsed by the Alabama Forestry Association.

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

2 hours ago

July small business owner survey shows lack of optimism, increased uncertainty amid modest financial gains

In a July study conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), America’s small business owners reported a 14% month over month drop in their expectations the economy will improve even as many firms reported faring slightly better amid loosened coronavirus restrictions.

Overall, there was a decrease of seven points in the NFIB Uncertainty Index and a decrease of 1.8 points in the NFIB Optimism Index.

The categories in which businesses saw minor gains were earnings, hiring and capital outlays. NFIB State of Alabama director Rosemary Elebash focused on the positive aspects in her comments on the study.

“Our members are seeing positive signs of businesses recovering and operating while still under the COVID-19 emergency orders,” Elebash said in a release on Wednesday.

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NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg in a statement accompanying the release of the study remarked, “Small business represents nearly half of the GDP and this month we saw a dip in optimism. There is still plenty of work to be done to get businesses back to pre-crisis numbers.”

The NFIB report also showed continued demand for skilled workers that has not been met; 27% of businesses surveyed reported having job openings for skilled workers that they could not fill.

A release from the group highlighted that a “net negative 28% of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past 3 months.”

“Even with states reopening, sales are often lower due to business restrictions, social distancing requirements, and a still-reduced willingness of consumers to go out and mingle with the general population,” the report continued.

Elebash made further comments on the current state of the economy in Alabama, saying she hopes to see the unemployment rate continue to drop.

“July’s tax revenues grew by 4.27% after two months of declines. Alabama’s unemployment rate fell to 7.5% percent in June, a big improvement from April’s high of 13.8%, and we hope to see another drop in the jobless rate when July’s numbers are released,” she stated.

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

2 hours ago

Ledbetter named co-chair of Tuberville’s Senate campaign

Alabama House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) has been named co-chair of Republican senatorial nominee Tommy Tuberville’s 2020 campaign, it was announced on Wednesday.

The former Auburn University head football coach cited the conservative lawmaker’s record of success in the State House among the key reasons for his selection.

“Majority Leader Ledbetter has spent the last three years working closely with Republican representatives and senators from every corner of our state, and the conservative reforms they implemented have made Alabama a better place to work, live, and raise children,” Tuberville said in a statement.

“His team built upon the GOP supermajority in Alabama during the 2018 campaign cycle, and his experience and instincts will prove to be invaluable as we head toward November,” the candidate added.

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Ledbetter joins Stan McDonald, a Huntsville attorney who has successfully helped lead the campaign leadership team, as a campaign co-chair. McDonald was chair of the pro-Tuberville Grit PAC before transitioning to the campaign itself.

Saying he was eager to begin working with the campaign staff to secure a Tuberville victory, Ledbetter stressed that the race is especially important since Alabama’s U.S. Senate contest could very well determine which party controls the Senate after this election cycle. The result could determine the direction of the country, Ledbetter advised.

Tuberville will face U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in November’s general election.

“Since taking office, Doug Jones has voted twice to remove Donald Trump from office, opposed the nomination of conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and joined the liberal faction that supports abortion and wants to grab our guns,” Ledbetter stated. “I am proud to help elect Coach Tuberville because it is time for Alabama to have a U.S. Senator who represents our conservative beliefs and values, not those of liberals who live in New York and California.”

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

2 hours ago

Alabama Power personnel head to Illinois in support of another storm recovery

Alabama Power Company crews are slated to arrive in Illinois on Wednesday to assist in storm recovery efforts after a deadly derecho pummeled midwestern states in recent days.

The Alabama Power team members heading to Illinois just completed restoration efforts in New Jersey related to Tropical Storm Isaias. More than 200 of the company’s lineworkers and support personnel assisted in the Garden State after more than 1 million residents were affected by the storm.

Personnel arriving in Illinois will support Commonwealth Edison’s (ComEd) restoration efforts.

As of Tuesday, more than 400,000 ComEd customers remained without power in metropolitan Chicago and northern Illinois.

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“We were in the right place to be able to move quickly from New Jersey to help the folks in Illinois,” stated Brian Lindsay, a manager in Alabama Power Company Power Delivery who is part of the company’s team heading to support ComEd. “Our crews are eager to support ComEd and their customers.”

Just as was the case in New Jersey, this is yet another example of Alabama Power offering and coordinating recovery work through the mutual assistance program of the Southeastern Electric Exchange, a trade association comprised of several member utilities.

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