Another Alabama Poll: All Tied Up
Another poll in Alabama, this one from Rasmussen, shows what is essentially a three way tie:
Alabama Republicans are up to bat next, and right now it’s a near three-way tie going into next Tuesday’s primary.
The first Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters in Alabama finds Newt Gingrich barely ahead with 30% support to 29% for Rick Santorum and 28% for Mitt Romney. Texas Congressman Ron Paul trails with seven percent (7%) of the vote. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and six percent (6%) remain undecided.
It’s worth noting that Alabama, as well as Mississippi, has an open primary which arguably helps Romney by attracting Independent voters. Additionally, at least according to this poll, Alabama voters may actually be quite sympathetic to Romney at this point in the race:
Romney has a double-digit lead on relative strength against Obama, 40/27 over Gingrich, with Santorum at 20%. That will be very important as late-breaking voters make their decisions, because 55% of respondents believe that their priority is to choose the candidate who can best beat Barack Obama, while only 39% will base their decision on “Republican values.” If Romney is this close, that may be enough to put him over the top.
According to reports this morning, Romney was planning to take a day off the campaign trail this weekend to rest in Florida. Not a bad idea given the rigors of the campaign trail and the fact that there’s still a long slog ahead. However, with numbers like this I’ve got to wonder if the campaign will decide to cut that break short to try to close the deal in Alabama if only to disprove the assertion that Romney cannot win in the south.