New polling gives Roy Moore 8-point lead in Senate primary, leading runoff

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Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is opening a lead in the Alabama U.S. Senate Republican primary, and is the favorite in a potential runoff.

The Hill is reporting on a Cygnal/L2 poll released Thursday, ahead of next week’s primary, suggests the race will go to a runoff between the top two vote-getters without one getting a majority of the vote.

This makes second place crucial.

Moore leads the field with 31 percent compared to sitting Sen. Luther Strange‘s 23 percent. Huntsville Republican Congressman Mo Brooks, the only other candidate with a chance of making the runoff, follows with 18 percent.

Strange’s lead over Brooks is just outside the +/- 4.4 percent margin of error. Cygnal/L2 polled 502 likely Alabama Republican primary voters.

These numbers indicate a three-way race for who will serve the rest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ term.

As Alabama’s former Attorney General, Strange was appointed to the seat in February by then-Gov. Robert Bentley, until the state holds a special election in December. With a state as red as Alabama, the primary winner is likely to take the seat.

“I expect Moore and Strange in the runoff election, but Strange hasn’t locked down the second spot yet,” Cygnal’s president Brent Buchanan said in a polling statement. “It will be interesting to see if President Trump’s endorsement of Senator Strange increases voter turnout, which should favor Strange according to our survey results.”

With the runoff, polling found Moore would lead Strange 45 to 34 percent in a hypothetical matchup. The survey did not include Brooks.

Brooks’s favorability rating is also underwater, with 39 percent of likely Republican primary voters view him favorably, and 46 percent saw him unfavorably.

Strange’s favorable numbers are +4 points, 46 to 42 percent. Moore sits best, with a 56 percent positive rating.

Unless one of the candidates can secure a 50 percent plus one majority of the vote in Tuesday’s primary, Alabama voters will have to decide between the top two vote-getters in a Sept. 26 runoff. The general election is Dec. 12.

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