December 11, 2017
Two new polls paint completely different pictures of tomorrow's Senate special election in Alabama. Fox News gives Democrat Doug Jones has a 10 point lead over Republican Roy Moore. The last poll showing Jones with this kind of lead was the last Fox News poll in mid November, which showed him up by 8 points.
Most other recent polls have shown Moore in the lead. This morning's survey from Emerson College, gives Moore a 9 point margin, significantly higher than the 3 point margin they gave him about 10 days ago. Moore's 53% share of the vote is also a high-water mark for him among recent polling.
Looking at the average, these two new polls basically cancel each other out. Moore maintains an average lead of 3.3%.
This wide variation in these two releases highlights the challenge pollster have trying to model turnout. As Fox notes: "This race’s uniqueness is significant. It is impossible to know who will show up to vote in a special election to fill a seat in the middle of a term in an off-year. And it’s December, a time when people expect to be going to the shopping mall, not the voting booth." The Alabama Secretary of state estimates just a 20% turnout, vs. 62% in the November, 2016 election.
At the presidential level, the Magnolia State has voted for only one Democratic nominee since 1960. The population demographics drive remarkably consistent results every four years.
Rescheduled from April 4, this party primary was conducted exclusively by mail
15 seats were updated, 7 of which moved to safe for the November elections
This far out, polling may be of limited predictive value, but it will become more and more relevant as November draws closer
Having a long history of conducting elections by mail, the state was able to keep its original May 19 primary date. Live results for contested presidential and congressional contests