ALABAMA (WHNT) — A new poll shows Alabama voters are mixed on how much an endorsement from former President Donald Trump matters.
The former commander-in-chief has a mixed record with endorsing candidates in Alabama.
The latest to secure Trump’s backing is Katie Britt, the former head of the Business Council of Alabama and candidate in Alabama’s Republican runoff election for the U.S. Senate. Trump had previously endorsed Britt’s opponent in the runoff, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks.
Polling shows that 45% of Republican runoff voters said a Trump endorsement doesn’t matter when it comes to casting their ballot. Meanwhile, 40% said it makes them more likely to support his chosen candidate.
Just 16% of those polled said it makes them less likely to support a candidate.
The poll of 1,000 Alabama residents was conducted June 12-13 as a joint effort between News 19, Emerson College Polling, and The Hill. It has a margin of error of ±3%.
“Half of voters without a college degree say a Trump endorsement makes them more likely to support a candidate, compared to 23% of those with a college degree or more,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director for Emerson College Polling. “Rather, 55% of voters with a college degree say it makes no difference on their vote compared to 28% of voters without a college degree.”
Prior to this election cycle, Trump backed several candidates for U.S. Senate – two were unsuccessful, and another made it to D.C. In 2017, Trump’s endorsement did not sway voters as much during the special election that saw the state elect the first statewide Democrat in a generation.
Initially, the former president endorsed Luther Strange, a former Alabama Attorney General picked to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat when he was appointed to lead the Justice Department.
In the primary, Strange faced former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Both men advanced to a runoff where Moore defeated Strange with 54% of the vote.
Trump then endorsed Moore for the general election.
As previously reported, Moore’s 2017 campaign was marred by allegations of sexual misconduct. A number of Republicans, including outgoing U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, pulled their support of Moore amidst the accusations; however, then-President Trump stuck with Moore.
Moore was eventually defeated in a December 2017 special election by former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones.
In 2020, Trump backed former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville over his own former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Republican primary.
At that time, Trump stated, “Vote for Tommy Tuberville, he is a winner who will never let you down. Jeff Sessions is a disaster who has let us all down. We don’t want him back in Washington!”
Tuberville went on to defeat Sessions in a runoff election, 60% to 40%. The former coach then defeated incumbent Democrat Doug Jones that November, delivering the largest margin of defeat for any incumbent Senator in a decade.
The next test of Trump’s endorsement comes on Tuesday, June 21 when Britt and Brooks face off in a runoff.