ALABAMA (WHNT) — A new poll shows Republican candidate Katie Britt leading the race for U.S. Senate, and incumbent Kay Ivey well ahead of her opponents in the governor’s race – but both frontrunners are still likely heading to runoff elections.
Britt, the former head of the Business Council of Alabama and a former aide to the retiring U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, leads the race to replace him by six points at 32%. She is followed by U.S. Army veteran and aerospace executive Mike Durant at 26% and Huntsville-area U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks is at 25%.
Since the last poll was released, Britt has gained nine points, Durant lost seven, and Brooks showed the largest gain, 13 points. With no candidate nearing the 50% mark, a June 21 runoff looks likely.
No other candidates reached double digits, though 14% of voters remain undecided in the race, the poll shows.
“Britt holds a plurality of support among those with a college degree or higher with 33%, while 25% of this group support Brooks and 20% support Durant,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling. “On the other hand, Durant holds a 34% plurality among those without a college degree, while Britt follows with 28% and Brooks with 24%.”
The poll of 1,000 Alabama residents was conducted as a joint effort between News 19, Emerson College and The Hill. The Republican primary portion of the poll has a sample size of 704 likely voters with a margin of error of ±3.6%. The poll was conducted over two days, May 15-16.
In the race for Alabama governor, incumbent Kay Ivey has a commanding lead with 46% support. Her main opponents, businessman Tim James and former Trump ambassador Lindy Blanchard, remain far behind at 18% and 11%, respectively. 15% of Republican voters are undecided.
Kimball said a plurality of those undecided in the governor’s race favor Ivey, possibly giving her enough votes to avoid a runoff. A candidate needs 50 percent plus one to win a primary without a runoff in Alabama. Republican Lew Burdette is polling at 7%.
Ivey’s numbers have dipped slightly. The last poll showed her at 48%, while James gained 8 points since the last poll and Blanchard picked up 3 points. The undecided voter figure in the race has fallen from 22% in early April to 15% in the new poll.
The poll also released new numbers on the race for Alabama Secretary of State, the office being vacated by John Merrill.
60% of Republican primary voters say they’re undecided, but State Auditor Jim Zeigler led at 20%, followed by State Representative Wes Allen at 14%.
The poll found an endorsement from former President Donald Trump could still shake up the race. 53% of Republican primary voters say Trump’s stamp of approval would make them more likely to vote for a candidate, while 30% say it makes no difference. Sixteen percent of those polled said Trump’s endorsement makes it less likely they’ll vote for his chosen candidate.
Brooks lost the Trump endorsement earlier this year, though his support appears to have doubled since the last poll. Trump has not endorsed another candidate in the U.S. Senate race.
“Among the 53% of voters who say a Trump endorsement would make them more likely to vote for a candidate, 32% support Durant, 28% support Britt, and 27% Brooks,” Kimball said. “Of the 16% of voters who are less likely to support a Trump-endorsed candidate, 37% plan to vote for Britt, 16% for Durant and 11% for Brooks.”
On the Democratic side, nearly half of voters remained undecided in both the Senate and gubernatorial races.
In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, pastor Dr. Will Boyd leads with 26%, followed by former Brighton Mayor Brandaun Dean at 15%, and Lanny Jackson at 11%.
Educator Yolanda Flowers leads the race for Governor of Alabama at 29%. No other candidate received double-digit support, though businessman and musician Chad “Chig” Martin came in second place with 7%.
In both races, 49% of Democratic primary voters said they have not decided who they will support.
The Democratic primary sample consisted of 294 likely voters with a margin of error of ±5.7%.
Other notable points from the poll:
- Just 33% of primary voters approve of President Joe Biden, down one point from the last poll conducted. 64% disapprove of Biden’s job performance, and 4% remain neutral on the commander-in-chief.
- 46% of voters say Governor Kay Ivey is doing a good job, while 37% say they disapprove of her job performance. 16% of voters had no opinion on the governor.
- 47% believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned, while 41% think it should be upheld by the Supreme Court.
- 86% of Alabamians say they support some access to abortion while 14% believe it should be illegal in all cases with no exceptions.
- 48% of voters say the Alabama Legislature should make it harder to access abortion services, while 28% say it should be easier and 24% say they should not pass abortion laws.
- 61% of respondents said they voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, while 35% voted for President Joe Biden. Just over 2% say they voted for someone else or didn’t vote at all.
You can view the crosstabs for this poll by clicking here.