Poll finds conservative with huge lead over Trump-backed Alabama candidate

Poll finds conservative with huge lead over Trump-backed Alabama candidate
© Greg Nash

Roy Moore has a nearly 20-point lead over Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), the candidate backed by President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump declares war on hardworking Americans with new budget request The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case MORE (R-Ky.) in Alabama's Senate special election, according to a new poll.

The survey conducted by JMC Analytics and Polling found the former chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court with 51 percent support, compared to 32 percent for Strange.

The two will face one another in a runoff election to be the GOP nominee on Sept. 26.

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Moore won the first battle of the primary on Tuesday, taking 39 percent to Strange's 31 percent. Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksRepublican group asks 'what is Trump hiding' in Times Square billboard Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Trump takes pulse of GOP on Alabama Senate race MORE (R-Ala.) fell out of the contest, taking 19 percent of the vote.

Whoever wins the GOP nomination will be the favorite in the general election to succeed Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' Barr back on the hot seat McCabe: 'I don't think I will ever be free of this president and his maniacal rage' MORE, the GOP senator who gave up his seat to serve as Trump's attorney general. Strange was appointed to fill the seat until the election.

Still, Moore's win would give Democrats a ray of hope that they could contend for the seat.

And if Moore is elected, it would give McConnell a difficult new senator to contend with in Washington.

Trump's endorsement did little to help Strange, according to the JMC Analytics poll.

Twenty-five percent of respondents said Trump's backing made them more likely to support Strange, while 23 percent said it made them less likely to. Fifty-one percent were unmoved by the endorsement.

The survey was conducted from Aug. 17-19 and recorded 515 complete responses from registered voters in Alabama. The margin of error is 4.3 percent.