Polling results released by an Alabama-based, nationally respected data firm on Monday show that both former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions would enter a general election battle against U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) with a sizable lead.
Cygnal, recognized as the nation’s most accurate polling firm during the 2018 midterm cycle, conducted a survey of 530 likely Alabama general election voters from June 13-16.
The survey had a margin of error of ±4.26%, utilizing a probabilistic mixed-mode method that included Interactive Voice Responses (IVR) from landline phones as well as SMS text-message and email responses. Cygnal is not working for a candidate or PAC involved in Alabama’s Senate race.
The survey showed that Tuberville would beat Jones by a larger margin than would Sessions.
The general election survey included respective ballot tests between each potential GOP nominee, Jones and independent candidate Michael Parrish.
Sessions would garner 44.70% in his hypothetical, compared to Jones at 35.20%. Another 17.50% of respondents were undecided, and Parrish took 2.70% of the vote.
Meanwhile, Tuberville received 49.70% in his general election scenario, with Jones at 35.70%, 12.70% undecided and 1.90% for Parrish.
Comparatively, Sessions would beat Jones by 9.50%, while Tuberville would beat Jones by 14.00%.
Breakdowns of the data show Tuberville fairing better than Sessions against Jones across almost all demographics.
“When put up against Jones and an independent candidate, Tuberville does particularly better than Sessions with independent voters, medium-income voters, and college-educated voters. In fact, Sessions is 1 point behind Jones in the Birmingham media market, whereas Tuberville is ahead of Jones in all media markets,” Cygnal Vice President for Research & Analysis Chris Kratzer wrote.
Cygnal pointed to a “marked gender gap” in the General Election Senate matchups, with Jones fairing significantly better with females than males. Sessions received 41% of the vote among female respondents, compared to Jones at 39%; Tuberville received 46% of that same demographic, with Jones again at 39%.
“Throughout this race we’ve continued to see Tuberville in the lead, and our polling data before the primary was spot-on” stated Brent Buchanan, Cygnal’s CEO and founder. “Now looking ahead to the general election, Tommy Tuberville is performing stronger against incumbent Doug Jones compared to Jeff Sessions.”
The Cygnal release came the same day that a Jones internal poll was leaked to The Huffington Post. That survey was conducted May 14-18.
— Kevin Robillard (@Robillard) June 22, 2020
Previously, a Republican primary runoff survey conducted by Cygnal from May 7-10 showed Tuberville with a huge lead over Sessions. Sessions released an internal poll of his own conducted May 26-27 showing Tuberville at 49% and Sessions at 43%.
The runoff between Sessions and Tuberville will be held July 14.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn