Poll shows Trump and Cruz in lead in Alabama GOP primary race

By Charles J. Dean
on January 22, 2016 at 8:36 AM,
updated January 22, 2016 at 9:09 AM

Donald TrumpCharles Krupa/AP Photo

A poll taken for Alabama state Senate and House Republicans shows that the state's GOP presidential primary is essentially a two-man race between billionaire businessman Donald J. Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz.

But while the race may be a two-man race, it's not all that close. Or at least it was not when the poll was taken about a month ago.
The results showed Trump with a comfortable lead over Cruz, 35 percent to 15 percent.

The survey was conducted from Dec. 10th to the 13th. It polled 500 likely Republican primary voters in Alabama who said they intend to cast ballots in the GOP primary on March 1.

Sen. Ted CruzPablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press

The survey has an accuracy of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

Tied for third place in the poll at just 12 percent of the vote are Dr. Ben Carson and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

Next comes two former governors, Florida's Jeb Bush and Arkansas's Mike Huckabee. Both men are tied at 4 percent of the vote.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has 3 percent of the vote followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 2 percent. Businesswoman Carly Florina at just 1 percent.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Sen. Lindsey Graham all polled less than 1 percent. Since the poll was done Graham has pulled out of the race.

The numbers are likely disappointing most for Santorum who won the Alabama GOP primary in 2012 and for Huckabee who won the state primary in 2008.

One of the most interesting findings of the poll showed Republican voters far more likely to vote for candidates who are new to politics and will "bring fresh thinking" opposed to candidates who are running for office based on experience in office and getting things done.

Sixty-three percent of likely GOP voters said they would likely support such a candidate as opposed to the 27 percent who said experience was a key deciding factor for them.

While that specific dynamic was aimed toward state government elections, it's also a fact that Trump, Cruz and Carson have all campaigned as essentially outsiders and challengers to the political status quo.