Poll: Roy Moore leading Alabama GOP field

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreSessions hits back at Trump days ahead of Alabama Senate runoff Judge allows Roy Moore lawsuit over Sacha Baron Cohen prank to proceed Senate outlook slides for GOP MORE leads the field of potential Republicans vying for the chance to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D), a year and a half after Moore lost what was supposed to be an easy election in a deep-red state.

A new poll shows Moore leading a still-evolving field of Alabama Republicans competing for the nomination. He is the top choice of 27 percent of Alabama Republican voters, according to the Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy Inc. survey.

The state’s three Republican members of Congress finish well behind Moore: Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksGOP congressman says person responsible for deleted Perdue campaign ad should be 'outed', 'fired' House passes bill establishing commission to study racial disparities affecting Black men, boys Overnight Defense: Army launches command probe after slaying at Fort Hood | 'MAGA' listed as 'covert white supremacy' in military handout MORE would take 18 percent, Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneJerry Carl wins GOP Alabama runoff to replace Rep. Bradley Byrne Jeff Sessions loses comeback bid in Alabama runoff Sessions fights for political life in Alabama runoff MORE clocks in at 13 percent and Rep. Gary PalmerGary James PalmerComer tapped to serve as top Republican on House Oversight Top GOP post on Oversight draws stiff competition Trump takes pulse of GOP on Alabama Senate race MORE would take 11 percent.

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State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh would take 4 percent, and businessman Tim Jones finishes with just 2 percent of the vote.

So far, Byrne is the only Republican candidate among those tested to have formally entered the race. Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn University football coach, and state Auditor Jim Zeigler have also said they will run, though they were not tested in the survey.

Moore, who captured the Republican nomination in 2017 by appealing to the state’s most conservative evangelical voters, came undone amid multiple allegations that he harassed or pursued women who were in their teens when he was in his 30s.

Jones, a former U.S. attorney, won the December special election by 1.7 percentage points, or about 22,000 votes. He became the first Democrat in more than a generation — since Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire MORE, who has since changed his party affiliation — to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

Moore has not formally said he will run again, though he has said he is thinking about jumping in again.

“I’m seriously considering it,” Moore told a Christian radio host last month. “I think that it [the 2017 Senate race] was stolen.”

Whoever wins the Republican nomination will have a strong chance to unseat Jones in a state that favored President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE by 28 percentage points in 2016. Just 45 percent of Alabamians say they approve of the job Jones is doing in the Senate, and only 40 percent say they would vote to reelect the freshman Democrat. Fifty percent of Alabama voters say they would vote to replace him.

Moore remains a deeply polarizing figure, even among conservative voters in the state. A third of Alabama Republicans, 34 percent, say they have a favorable impression of Moore, while 29 percent see him unfavorably.

No other Republican tested has unfavorable ratings higher than 8 percentage points. About half of all Alabama Republicans do not recognize Byrne and Palmer, and about a quarter of state Republicans say they don’t know Brooks.

Just 4 percent of Alabama Republicans do not have an impression of Moore, likely indicating that Moore has a ceiling of support that is lower than other candidates.

The Mason-Dixon survey polled 625 registered Alabama voters from April 9 to 11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The poll surveyed an additional 400 Republican voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.