Donald Trump still wins easily in Alabama, but his numbers have dropped, and he might not be that popular even among his own voters.
The latest News-5/Strategy Poll shows 57-percent of Alabama voters say they’ll vote for Trump, 33-percent for Hillary Clinton.
In a similar poll in January, 68-percent said they would vote for Trump.
“It’s not unlikely that the voter at that time might have said sure I’ll vote for Donald Trump never thinking he’d be the nominee,” said pollster and political strategist Jon Gray of Mobile-based Strategy Research.
Seven-percent polled say they would vote for “another candidate” and three-percent said they would not vote. With no viable third candidate, Gray says that means 10-percent of Alabama voters may sit out this election.
“They don’t feel they can support either candidate,” said Gray. “A lot of people are forcing themselves to go vote because they feel like they have to vote. There are people out there stating I don’t have to vote and I’m not picking either of these two.”
That plays out when Trump supporters describe their main reason they’re for voting for him.
Only 50-percent said they are voting for Donald Trump because they “like him and what he stands for.”
36-percent said they’re primarily “voting against Hillary Clinton.” 14-percent say they always support the Republican candidate no matter what.
“Donald Trump’s voters – only 50-percent are voting for Donald Trump because they like him. If I was running that campaign, I don’t know what I’d say to that,” said Gray, who has run dozens of campaigns, mostly for Republican candidates.
He says further problematic are if these numbers hold up, Trump would draw the lowest percentage in Alabama in the last four Presidential races. George W. Bush collected 62-percent of the vote in 2004. John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 each garnered 60-percent.
Still Trump’s numbers in Alabama remain among the highest in the nation. But Gray says this poll doesn’t bode well for Trump’s chances nationwide this fall.
“All across the nation, Trump numbers are up in every poll and its convention week,” said Gray. “This is the honeymoon. This is the pep rally, the ticker tape parade, the Super Bowl celebration. His numbers are best this week, and he’s not over 60-percent. As a Republican consultant, that’s a concern for me.
Alabama is not a battleground state. I look at battleground states where Republicans have to win if they want to win the presidency and if you’re seeing numbers like this that is the most Republican state in America, what are they going to be like in Ohio?”
Promising for Trump, 44-percent of Alabamians who identify themselves as “independent” say they will vote for Trump. So too do 10-pertcent of Democrats.
The poll was conducted Monday July 19 via telephone among registered voters statewide. More than 4,100 people responded. The poll has a margin of error of two-percent.