Alabama Sen. Luther Strange, backed by Washington's establishment and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's well-funded PAC, has fallen 19 points behind a conservative former judge who is winning a huge chunk of the evangelical vote in the overwhelmingly Christian state.
According to a new poll done for the former judge, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore also has a majority, 51 percent to 32 percent for Strange, as the duo ready for a runoff in exactly five weeks.
Data indicates primary voters are switching support to Moore for runoff by 51-26% margin.https://t.co/jpmYQY4oSO #MooreSenate #ALSEN pic.twitter.com/VXTM5W2LtN— Moore Senate Team (@TeamMoore) August 21, 2017
Just last week, Moore came out on top of a congested initial primary, taking 39.6 percent of the vote to Strange's 32.1 percent. That was a shock to Washington because of the support from McConnell and President Trump.
In the new polling Strange picks up no new support and even loses to Moore in cities he won in last week's primary.
"The thing about it is that the people of Alabama are tired of Washington trying to control this election and they're doing something about it, they're reacting," Moore recently told Secrets.
The poll is further bad news from McConnell and Trump because it shows Moore picking up the support of the others in last week's primary and the overwhelming backing of the state's evangelical voters.
The former judge is known nationally for fighting to keep a monument to the 10 Commandments in the Alabama Judicial Building and against same sex marriage. The 70-year-old judge stepped down from the court in April.
"The numbers speak for themselves, said Moore campaign chairman Bill Armistead.
"Conservatives all across Alabama are uniting behind Judge Moore to drain the D.C. swamp and send a clear message to Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove that their votes are not for sale. Voters in Alabama are repulsed by their negative attacks on Judge Moore and his wife. These new poll numbers will no doubt send them into orbit and they will double down on false negative attacks on Judge Moore as they did in the primary. But, I've got news for them. These attacks out of Washington will only reinforce voter's opinion that Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove are desperate to save their candidate at all costs, and they are not buying their garbage. Judge Moore will continue to run a positive campaign while Luther Strange swims in Washington's slimy swamp."
Strange was appointed senator to replace Jeff Sessions, picked to be Trump's attorney general.
According to the poll analysis, "There are three main takeaways from this poll: former Chief Justice Roy Moore surges into an early runoff lead due to support from a substantial number of those who did not support either runoff contender in the August 15 primary, evangelical support is fueling Moore's initial runoff lead."
He is winning in every major city except Mobile.
Added the analysis, "former Chief Justice Roy Moore at the outset of the runoff has consolidated support from the ‘also rans,' and that when combined with his bedrock support among evangelicals is giving him a substantial initial lead, while appointed incumbent Luther Strange has not been helped by the support from both President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org