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Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama

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Alabama Republicans are showing little appetite for giving former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore another shot at winning a U.S. Senate seat, two years after he blew what should have been a gimme election in the ruby-red state after being embroiled in a sordid personal scandal.

A new survey from the Alabama-based polling firm Cygnal shows Moore taking just 13 percent of the vote in the Republican primary. He trails former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, who leads with 29 percent, and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R), who has 21 percent.

{mosads}Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R), who launched his campaign Tuesday, begins with 12 percent of the vote. State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R) takes 2 percent, and 22 percent of voters say they are undecided. 

Almost two-thirds of Republican voters say they have an unfavorable impression of Moore, while just 28 percent see him in a favorable light. Nearly a third of Republican voters, 31 percent, say they would consider voting for Sen. Doug Jones (D) in November if Moore captures the Senate nomination.

Tuberville, who coached Auburn’s football team from 1999 until 2008, is the best-known Republican candidate in the field. More than half, 56 percent, of Republican primary voters say they have a favorable impression of the coach, and just 17 percent see him unfavorably.

Moore ran as a deeply conservative challenger to appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) in the race to fill a seat left vacant when President Trump appointed Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. Moore easily defeated Strange in a runoff by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.

But soon after the runoff, The Washington Post reported sexual misconduct allegations against Moore leveled by several women, some of whom were underage when he approached them. National Republicans abandoned Moore, but Trump endorsed him a week before the election. 

Jones won the special election on Dec. 12, 2017, by a margin of just under 21,000 votes, or about 1.5 percentage points.

Tuberville’s early strength among Republican voters is high, especially because the Republican electorate is so heavily tilted toward Auburn’s in-state rival, the University of Alabama. More than half, 53 percent, of Alabama Republicans said they were Crimson Tide fans, while just 23 percent back the Auburn Tigers. Tuberville’s Tigers beat Alabama six consecutive times during his run as head coach. 

The Cygnal poll was conducted June 22–23 among 612 likely Republican primary voters. It carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Tags 2020 Senate elections Alabama Bradley Byrne Donald Trump doug jones Jeff Sessions Luther Strange Republican Primary Roy Moore Roy Moore campaign
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