Poll: Vance in ‘dead heat’ with Roy Moore

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A poll released by the campaign of Judge Robert Vance shows that even though relatively few people in the state know who he is that he is in a “statistical dead-heat” with Roy Moore in the race for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Judge Robert Vance Jr.

“Voters have not forgotten Moore’s controversial tenure as chief justice and Vance is well-positioned to take advantage of this, as long as he has the resources to effectively communicate with voters,” according to the polling memo from earlier this month.

While Moore is currently 3 percentage points ahead of Vance, 13 percent of people are undecided and more than one in three of those have an unfavorable opinion of Moore. Almost 20 percent of those who are undecided have a very unfavorable opinion of Moore. Twenty percent of those who are undecided view Moore favorably.

Moore led, at the time of the poll, 45 percent to 42 percent, which is within the margin of error in the poll by Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies.

“With nearly a third of voters remembering Moore and having an unfavorable view of him, Moore’s potential to expand his vote is limited,” according to the polling memo.

Judge Roy Moore

Less than 20 percent of the people polled were able to indentify Vance, the Jefferson County circuit judge who became the Democratic nominee after a panel of Democrats kicked Harry Lyon off the ballot. The polling memo noted Vance was “virtually unknown to the vast majority of voters” with 13 percent having a favorable opinion of him, six percent having a negative opinion, and 81 percent unable to identify him.

“With Vance already within the margin of error on the current vote, as he defines himself, he will have the ability to greatly expand his vote,” according to the polling memo from Sept. 11.

Moore, who is well-known among Alabama Republicans, received support from 72 percent of Republicans polled while Vance received support from 82 percent of Democrats.

The generic ballot is competitive in the state with 39 percent of those polled identifying themselves as Republicans, 38 percent as Democrats and 23 percent were “persuadable.”

Alabama may be a red state, but when it comes to the election for the Supreme Court chief justice, voters are willing to look at candidates from both parties,” according to the polling memo.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama in the state 54 percent to 40 percent with 6 percent undecided, which the polling memo suggests “that while Alabamians are voting along party lines for president they are willing to cross party lines when voting for a Supreme Court chief justice.”

Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies interviewed 600 likely 2012 general election voters in the state between Sept. 5 and Sept. 10. There was a 4 percent margin of error.

– posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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