After a week of troubling accusations of sexual misconduct against Republican Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore, a Fox News poll released Thursday shows Democrat Doug Jones leading the race by eight points.
Jason Easley wrote more here about the top-line numbers.
But perhaps the most surprising finding is buried deep in the poll, and it has very little to do with the U.S. Senate contest in Alabama.
According to the Fox News survey, former President Barack Obama is more popular among Alabama voters than Donald Trump. Let me repeat that: In a state that Trump won by nearly 30 percentage points last year, Obama is viewed more favorably.
According to the poll, a majority – 52 percent – of Alabamans view the 44th president favorably, while 45 percent do not. On the other hand, just 49 percent – not even a majority – view Trump in a positive light. Forty-eight percent of respondents have a negative view of the current president.
To further demonstrate just how tainted the Republican brand has become, a higher percentage of Alabama voters said they have a favorable opinion of Obama than all of the GOP names listed, from Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump to Luther Strange and Roy Moore.
And, remember, this is not a blue state. It’s not even purple. It’s Alabama, one of the most conservative states in the country. As I noted before, Hillary Clinton got trounced there in 2016, and in each of his campaigns, Barack Obama lost the state by more than 20 percentage points.
The fact that Republicans are struggling to stay above water in Alabama speaks volumes about how disappointed voters are in the way Trump and congressional Republicans have governed over the past year.
Ultimately, the GOP doesn’t just have a Roy Moore problem; they have a Donald Trump problem. If they don’t fix it soon, they’ll find themselves submerged in a massive blue wave come this time next year.