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« CA 26: Dreier +12 | Blog Home Page | Obama Offers First Peek »

AL: Dueling Polls

According to two new polls released in Alabama, Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright and State Senator Jay Love lead their respective races for Congress. The two polls make the situation clear as mud because both Bright, a Democrat, and Love, a Republican, are their party's nominees in the race for the same seat, held by retiring Rep. Terry Everett.

Love's poll, conducted by Republican firm McLaughlin & Associates, surveyed 300 likely voters between 7/21-22 for a margin of error of +/- 5.7%. Bright and Love were tested.

General Election Matchup
Love.....................41
Bright....................39

Generic GOP.........48
Generic Dem.........34

McCain..................55
Obama...................30

Love's poll shows Republicans John McCain and Governor Bob Riley are hugely popular in the district, with favorable ratings of 63% and 70% respectively. National Democrats Nancy Pelosi (19% favorable to 49% unfavorable) and Barack Obama (39% to 47%) have upside down ratings.

Bright's poll tells a much different story. The poll, conducted by Democratic firm Anzalone Liszt Research, surveyed 400 likely voters between 8/3-6 for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. Bright and State Senator Jay Love, the Republican nominee, were tested.

General Election Matchup
Bright........50
Love.........40

The district is more conservative than both Rep. Don Cazayoux's Louisiana seat and Rep. Travis Childers' Mississippi seat, which Democrats won in special elections earlier this year. The district gave President Bush a two-to-one margin in 2004, and Everett never had a problem carrying during his eight terms in Congress.

Bright, mayor of a city that comprises a significant portion of the district, has a strong 63% favorable rating compared with just 16% who see him unfavorably in his own poll. Bright and Love each have strong name recognition around the district, with four in five voters recognizing the Democrat and three in four recognizing his Republican opponent.

It is no coincidence that Anzalone Liszt is polling for Bright. The firm, based in Alabama, conducted polls for both Cazayoux and Childers, and their client roster is heavy on Democrats in the South who are sticking closely to an economic script that has so far proven effective this year. On the other hand, trying to tie Bright to Obama and Pelosi might not prove effective for Love. An internal audit of those two special elections, in which Republicans attempted to make the same ties, found those tactics didn't work.