1 month ago

Senate poll shows Doug Jones ‘in deep trouble’ against three leading GOP contenders

New independent polling released on Sunday provides insight into Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) 2020 reelection prospects.

John Couvillon of Louisiana’s JMC Analytics conducted a general election survey from December 16-18 using a combination of robocalls to landlines (49%) and texts to cell phones (51%). There were 525 respondents, with the poll having a margin of error of 4.30%. Respondents were varying degrees of likely voters, all having at least voted in the 2016 general election.

The first question asked was whether respondents believed President Donald Trump should be reelected. 54% indicated “yes,” while 42% said no and 3% were undecided.

The same question was then asked about Jones, Alabama’s junior senator who was elected in a December 2017 special election.

Only 34% of respondents supported Jones’ reelection, while 48% opposed and 18% were undecided.

The third question saw 39% responding that they supported impeaching Trump, while 54% opposed and 7% were undecided.

The next five questions were hypothetical general election matchups between Jones and his major GOP challengers.

Former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville fared best against Jones in the survey, although former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) were also up against Jones within the margin of error of Tuberville’s lead.

When asked if they would vote for Sessions or Jones (with party identifications being given in all matchup questions), 46% preferred Sessions, 41% answered Jones and 13% were undecided.

Next, 47% chose Tuberville, 40% responded Jones and 13% were undecided.

Byrne, who has lower name identification than Tuberville, Sessions and Jones, received 44% against Jones’ 40%, with 16% being undecided.

However, not all well-known Republicans matched up well against Jones. Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who lost to Jones in 2017, has been polling a distant fourth in the 2020 GOP primary.

While it may thus be purely academic, Moore would likely face the same fate against Jones this time around. 47% would vote for Jones if they were running against each other in 2020, while only 33% would choose Moore. 20% were undecided.

Finally, State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-AL), who has by far the lowest name identification of any of the candidates in the poll, received 34% compared to Jones at 40%, with 25% being undecided.

The final questions were demographic. 56% of respondents described themselves as an evangelical Christian, while 32% would not describe themselves that way. 11% were undecided.

54% of respondents were female, compared to 46% male.

Regarding the age of respondents, 14% were 18-34, 29% were 35-54, 21% were 55-64 and 37% were 65 or older.

Analyzing the poll

Yellowhammer News reached out to renowned political data analyst and strategist Jim McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associates regarding Couvillon’s survey.

McLaughlin, who is considered one of the nation’s best pollsters (including in Alabama, where he is considered the “gold standard”), then scrutinized the poll, including its methodology, cross tabs and takeaways.

In an email to Yellowhammer News, he explained that the combination of robo-landline calls and cell phone texts utilized are considered a “low budget” survey in the industry.

For independent, media polls like this one that are not paid for by a candidate or interested entity, these types of surveys are utilized because live callers are more expensive.

McLaughlin advised, “The most accurate surveys these days are cell phone surveys, folks don’t do them for media polls because they are expensive… because we can’t use auto-dialers, we have to dial the cells by hand, it’s the law and it’s expensive.”

Another methodology-related issue should be noted.

“They didn’t ask party or ideology which are staple questions for any voter so it’s tough to see if this is really representative of the Alabama voter universe,” McLaughlin outlined. “When I normally get a survey back the first things I check are things like Party, Ideology and race to make sure it matches with the electorate.  It’s an important quality control.”

The JMC Analytics poll did report the racial breakdown of respondents: 73% white and 25% black. That breakdown is closely in line with the 2016 general election breakdown. McLaughlin did also note that the survey sample was on the older side, as far as the age breakdown goes.

In the publicly released survey memo, Couvillon, the pollster, wrote, “There are two main takeaways from this poll: (1) While absolute majorities still support President Trump, his support has softened some relative to his 2016 numbers, and (2) Senator Doug Jones faces a challenging re-election.”

“While Donald Trump carried Alabama by an overwhelming 62-34% margin in 2016 (against Hillary Clinton), his re-election numbers are noticeably less at 54-42%,” he added.

McLaughlin took issue with this Trump-related conclusion.

“They create a false equivalency between a re-elect question and Trump’s 2016 performance. Re-elect questions are used to gauge intensity. They needed to ask ballot questions for Trump like they did for the US Senate race. My guess is Trump would be beat any of the Dems similar to what he did to Hillary. Heck, he would probably beat most of them by as much, if not more than Hillary,” he stated.

What McLaughlin is explaining here can be compared to Jones’ numbers in the JMC Analytics survey. While only 34% of respondents first answered that they wanted to see Jones reelected, Jones’ vote percentage went up when respondents were given an option between him and specific Republicans on the ballot tests.

“I have seen numbers in Alabama where Trump’s job rating is over 60% STATEWIDE, Alabama is one of the President’s best states,” McLaughlin added.

However, he did not disagree on Couvillon’s takeaway about Jones.

“When you are an incumbent and you are under 50%, let alone losing, you’re in deep trouble,” McLaughlin concluded.

View the JMC Analytics polling memo and cross tabs here.

RELATED: Poll: Demographic barriers to Doug Jones re-election bid

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

6 hours ago

Alabama voting rights activist jailed on drug charges while on bond for capital murder charge

An Alabama activist is jailed on assault and other charges.

Records show 54-year-old Kenneth Glasgow was being held without bond at the Houston County Jail on Tuesday.


He was arrested Saturday on charges including drug possession, assault and evidence tampering.

Police tell news outlets that Glasgow struggled with an officer who tried to arrest him after finding crack inside his pocket.

Glasgow has worked for years to register prisoners to vote inside Alabama jails and prisons.

He was charged with capital murder in 2018 after a fatal shooting but was out on bond.

He’s the half-brother of nationally known activist Al Sharpton.

 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

RELATED: Al Sharpton’s half-brother, already facing Alabama capital murder charges, arrested again

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7 hours ago

Hurts: Time back in Alabama going ‘really well’ — ‘Love’ for Bama will ‘never go away’

MOBILE — The Senior Bowl Week Media Day was held on Tuesday at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center, and former University of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts had droves of reporters on hand hoping to capture yet another classic Hurts press conference. The humble Hurts did not disappoint.

To kick off his remarks, Hurts commented once again on being back in the Yellowhammer State. He, of course, played at Oklahoma this past season as a graduate transfer from Tuscaloosa. Hurts finished as the runner-up in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting.

“I think being here and being back in this state is [going] really well. I’m having this opportunity to play in this game and showcase my abilities and show what I’m made of. I’m thankful for it, I’m appreciative of it. And I’m ready to attack it,” Hurts said.

Asked on a follow-up question to compare the Alabama and Oklahoma fanbases, he responded, “I have a lot of respect for both universities. Both have rich tradition, history. I appreciate all the support.”


The quarterback would later say both programs have “great coaches.”

RELATED: Hurts on Saban: ‘We always had a love for each other … our relationship will never die’

Of the universities, Hurts added, “The appreciation I have for them both, the love I have for them both, it’ll never go away. The way that they’ve accepted me, both schools, not many people can say that they’ve experienced that or they have that … so I’m thankful for it.”

Hurts said that during Senior Bowl Week and in the game on Saturday, he simply wants to “be the best version of” himself. He listed executing, learning and being a “student of the game” as priorities.

The former Tide star was also asked if he has had the opportunity to visit with the outgoing Bama players at the Senior Bowl, his former teammates Jared Mayden, Terrell Lewis, Raekwon Davis and Anfernee Jennings.

“Yes, sir,” Hurts answered. “It’s been well [sic]. Great seeing them. Good to be out there on the practice field with them again. I think they have the same approach I have in terms of maximizing this opportunity.”

RELATED: Bama’s Jared Mayden glad to be reunited with ‘natural leader’ Jalen Hurts for Senior Bowl

Hurts later quipped that he plays with “a boulder” on his shoulder rather than merely “a chip.”

Asked about the reception he expected back in the state of Alabama and what it has been like so far, Hurts commented, “It’s been pretty hectic so far — in a good way. Just being back here, a lot of love. I’m appreciative of it all.”

“I get on the elevator, one of the workers at the hotel we’re staying at — she let me have it in terms of just screaming,” he continued with a smile. “‘Jalen Hurts is really on my elevator,’ just stuff like that. That’s special to me, and I know it won’t be like that forever. I’m just soaking it all in.”

You can watch Hurts’ full interview below:

Media Day followed the Senior Bowl Week introductory press conference that was held Monday evening.

RELATED: Senior Bowl Week kicks off in Mobile as director praises ‘beloved’ Jalen Hurts — ‘He’s come so far’

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

Byrne: Impeachment is nothing to smile about

For three years now, the American people have been forced to endure the efforts by Democrats and the liberal mainstream media to impeach President Trump and remove him from office in the face of his clear electoral victory in 2016. They have tried everything, from a needless special prosecutor investigation, which resulted in nothing, to an Adam Schiff-coached whistleblower who admitted he had no firsthand information and relied on news articles by that same liberal media.

The farce produced just two articles of impeachment, neither of which alleges “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as required by the Constitution. An unprecedented and totally partisan process in the House produced nothing that Democrats could even allege is impeachable.


Then Nancy Pelosi, after insisting for weeks that impeachment couldn’t wait and had to be done by Christmas, held onto the articles, refusing to send them to the Senate as is required. This prolonged the spotlight on her, as the ever-worshipful liberal media gushed over her political brilliance, ignoring the inconvenient fact that her strategy of forcing the Senate to adopt her preferred process for the trial completely failed.

The Constitution is clear. While the House has “the sole Power of Impeachments,” the Senate has “the sole Power to try Impeachments.” And the Constitution clearly states that each house of Congress sets its own rules. Pelosi had no right or power to dictate trial rules to the Senate. Her behavior was unconstitutional and brought embarrassment and dishonor on the House. So, I filed a resolution censoring the speaker for her inappropriate behavior.

Finally, last week as Democrats began to abandon Pelosi’s position, she relented, and the House appointed seven “managers” to present the House’s articles and “case” to the Senate. Led by Schiff, who literally made-up words for the transcript of President Trump’s call to the President of Ukraine in his first day of impeachment “hearings,” and by the bumbling and incompetent Jerry Nadler, the House managers will finally have to behave according to the rules of a truly fair process, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the competent John Roberts, who will tolerate none of the misbehavior the Democrats repeatedly engaged in as this mess moved through the House.

Pelosi couldn’t stand to lose her spotlight, and, in one last shameful act, had a “signing ceremony” where she and other Democrats smiled and laughed as she pronounced President Trump “impeached forever” and handed out pens. Even some of her adoring fans in the liberal media said she went too far.

What now? The Senate will meet every day except for Sundays beginning at 1:00 p.m. Every senator must attend. They cannot talk or bring electronic devices. They will initially hear the House managers’ “case” for the articles of impeachment, and then the president’s lawyers will finally be allowed to present his case. Be prepared for the House managers to be longwinded and ineffective. Be prepared for the president’s team to be briefer and speak clearly to the essential points of weakness in the articles. Then senators will be allowed to ask questions through Chief Justice Roberts.

What happens next is unclear. Will the Senate dismiss the articles? Will they acquit the president? Will they unnecessarily delay things further by calling witnesses? We don’t know.

But, we do know that not a single Republican voted for these articles in the House and even a few Democrats voted against them. One Democrat changed parties over the vote. We also know there are not nearly enough senators to meet the two-thirds threshold to remove President Trump from office. And we know this will have all been a complete waste of time.

This fall, in the general election, the American people will finally have their say, as the framers of our Constitution intended. I predict Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler won’t be smiling.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope. He is a 2020 candidate for the U.S. Senate.

8 hours ago

Watch: Jessica Taylor touts ‘humble roots’, takes aim at ‘The Squad’ in first TV ad

Jessica Taylor, an attorney in Prattville seeking the Republican nomination for Alabama’s second congressional district, released her first television advertisement on Tuesday.

The ad, which is titled “My Squad,” is mostly composed of footage and soundbites from Taylor’s viral announcement video that garnered national attention.

The video begins by touting Taylor’s “humble roots,” and the candidate goes on to say she wants “to protect life, the Second Amendment, our borders and President Trump from socialists in the swamp”


Taylor’s competitors in the March 3 Republican Primary will be former Alabama Attorney General Troy King, former State Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman.

According to Taylor’s campaign, the spot “will air on broadcast and cable over the next two weeks in the Montgomery media market beginning this Wednesday.”

Predictably in an ad titled “My Squad,” the spot makes references to “The Squad” while displaying images of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

The Squad” is a group of four U.S. Representatives that are new to Congress, female and represent the furthest left wing of the Democratic Party. Cortez and Omar are two members of “The Squad” that have generated particular ire among Republican primary voters.

As a response to “The Squad,” Taylor led the effort to create the “Conservative squad,” which is composed of four female conservative Republicans currently seeking election to the House.

In a statement sent to reporters that accompanied the ad, Taylor said one of her goals in Congress would be to “fight back against radical socialists like AOC and Ilhan Omar.”

The spot also continues to use the language and iconography of basketball, which Taylor grew up playing.

“Alabama, put me in the game!” proclaims Taylor to conclude.


10 hours ago

Bama’s Jared Mayden glad to be reunited with ‘natural leader’ Jalen Hurts for Senior Bowl

MOBILE — Reunited and it feels so good. That was the sentiment expressed by one of Jalen Hurts’ former University of Alabama Crimson Tide teammates during the Senior Bowl Week Media Day on Tuesday.

Hurts, of course, played for the Oklahoma Sooners this past season as a graduate transfer from Alabama. He finished as the runner-up in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting.

He will play for the South Team during Saturday’s Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, as will the Tide’s Jared Mayden, Terrell Lewis, Raekwon Davis and Anfernee Jennings.

As captured by Yellowhammer News, Mayden spoke with reporters during Media Day about how it feels being on the same field — and the same team — as Hurts once again.


“It means a lot,” Mayden stressed. “Especially since he’s on my team [as opposed to playing against him on the North Team]. I’m glad he’s on my team because Jalen’s a leader, a natural leader. He doesn’t have to try too hard. It just seems like it comes natural to him. I know he’ll probably have some things to say that’ll get everybody ready to play. He did it at Bama; I expect no less from him [now]. So I’m excited to get the opportunity to play with him again.”

If you missed Yellowhammer’s coverage of the start of Senior Bowl Week, read more here.

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