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Polls show Katie Britt holding comfortable lead in final days of U.S. Senate race

Two independent polls released Thursday indicate that former Business Council of Alabama CEO Katie Britt holds around a 20-point lead over U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in the U.S. Senate GOP runoff contest.

According to an Emerson College Polling survey, which was commissioned by The Hill and Nexstar Media Group, Britt leads Brooks 50% to 34% with 17% of voters being undecided.

When undecided voters were asked which candidate they would likely vote for, Britt’s support jumped to 59% while Brooks garnered 41%.

The survey, which holds a +/- 3% margin of error, was conducted June 12-15 and consisted of 1,000 likely Republican primary runoff voters.

Emerson College Polling executive director Spencer Kimball provided an in-depth breakdown of the newly released data.

“Britt’s initial ballot support in the runoff is higher among men than among women, she leads Brooks 55% to 31% among men compared to 44% to 36% among women,” noted Kimball. “However, 20% of women are undecided and when asked who they are leaning towards, 71% support Britt.”

He added, “Britt leads with all age groups, however her support is the strongest among those under 50, where she leads Brooks 53% to 28%.”

When asked how influential an endorsement from former President Donald Trump would be, 45% of GOP runoff voters responded that it would not affect how they vote.

Additionally, 40% of the poll’s participants answered that the endorsement would make them more likely to support a candidate. Further, 16% of voters said a Trump endorsement would make them less likely to support the endorsed candidate.

The 45th president officially announced his endorsement of Britt’s candidacy on June 10.

“The Trump endorsement makes a more significant impact for voters without a college degree,” continued Kimball, “Half of voters without a college degree say a Trump endorsement makes them more likely to support a candidate, compared to 23% of those with a college degree or more. Whereas, 55% of voters with a college degree say it makes no difference on their vote compared to 28% of voters without a college degree.”

According to a poll conducted by the Auburn University at Montgomery’s (AUM) Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Britt holds a 20.9% lead over Brooks.

AUM Poll results as follows:

  • Katie Britt: 50.4%
  • Mo Brooks: 29.5%
  • Undecided: 20.1%

The AUM Poll shows that 52.5% of participants view Britt as favorable compared to only 10% that hold an unfavorable view of the first-time candidate. For Brooks, 32.1% of respondents view him as favorable while 24.7% view the congressman as unfavorable.

David Hughes, associate professor of political science and director of the AUM Poll, provided comprehensive analysis of Alabama’s Republican electorate.

“The division among voters is in line with the Alabama Republican Party being traditionally divided into factions consisting of a business wing, which is more (sub)urban, wealthy and better educated, and a grassroots wing, which is more rural, evangelical and socially conservative,” explained Hughes.

“The AUM Poll found that Britt’s support is higher among Alabama Republican voters who are better educated, wealthier, less supportive of Donald Trump, and more likely to believe that President Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election,” he advised. “For example, among Alabama Republicans with a college degree, 57 percent support Britt compared to only 47 percent support among those with a high school degree or less.”

Hughes broke down the qualities that Yellowhammer State Republicans find admirable in candidates.

“When asked which candidate qualities they consider when deciding for whom to vote, poll respondents identified a strong moral compass and business experience as the most desirable qualities,” added the professor. “Having military experience and being a political outsider were rated among the least desirable qualities.”

Hughes concluded, “The results from the AUM Poll also found that inflation, gun rights, and immigration ranked as the most important issues to Alabama Republicans leading into the runoff election. By contrast, education, foreign affairs and COVID-19 restrictions ranked the least important.”

In a statement reacting to the polling numbers, Britt touched on the “enthusiastic” support her campaign had received throughout the race.

“As we’ve travelled to all 67 counties across our state over the past year sharing our message and listening to people, the enthusiastic response we’ve received in every corner of Alabama has been incredible,” proclaimed Britt. “It is clear that hardworking Alabamians know that I am the best candidate to fight for our Christian conservative values and the America First agenda in the U.S. Senate.”

“I would be honored to earn your vote on Tuesday, June 21. The future of our state is on the ballot, and I’m in this race because that is worth fighting for. Together, we will preserve the American Dream for our children and our children’s children,” finished the candidate.

Republicans will head to the polls to cast a final vote in next Tuesday’s primary runoff election to determine the GOP’s nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa).

The Republican nominee will face Democratic Party nominee Will Boyd in the November 8 general election.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL