A poll conducted for RollCall shows GOP candidate Jay Love a strong 17 points ahead of Democrat Bobby Bright in the AL-02 race.
A SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for Roll Call found state Rep. Jay Love (R) ahead of Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright (D), 56 percent to 39 percent, in the race to succeed retiring Rep. Terry Everett (R).
Unquestionably this is a good showing for Love in an independent poll of the district. If Bright fans are looking for a silver lining, one is that this poll only had 16% of its survey sample as African-Americans while the recent polls from Anzalone-List and Capital Survey Research used figures closer to 29%, the percentage of African-Americans in the district.
Another consideration that Bright fans will latch onto is that automated polls like SurveyUSA uses have pluses (they’re cheaper) and minuses (they don’t screen who answers the phone… anyone who answers can respond, e.g., non-registered voter, child, etc.). These kind of considerations lead Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director, to observe that SurveyUSA will “show incredible fluctuations in their results.” He adds,
One day, a candidate will have a massive lead and two weeks later, their numbers will change for no apparent reasons. They churn out the most numbers and have too much influence. If campaigns thought the IVR [interactive voice response] way of polling was the way to go, they’d already be there; because it’s VERY cheap; but the fact is the polling I trust the most is from pollsters who get paid to get it right, not to get a result.
On the issue of “incredible fluctuations,” the Bright crowd will question what could have happened to swing the vote so dramatically in Love’s favor since other polls (from Love’s campaign, Capital Survey Research (AEA), and Anzalone-Liszt) showed the race differently.
Regardless, the Bright people would crow mightily if the result was in their favor on this poll, and the Love crowd will justifiably promote these results by an independent interest.