Alabama is pretty much like the rest of the country when it comes to the GOP candidates for President. It appears that Republicans in my state are divided almost evenly among Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. According to the results of a new poll from Capital Survey Research Center in Montgomery, it’s pretty much a dead heat between these three candidates. In a survey of 421 likely GOP voters in Alabama, 27 percent said they favored Romney; 23 percent went for Santorum; 22 percent were for Gingrich; and Texas Congressman Ron Paul received 7 percent. Similar polls by the Center in August and November showed a totally different picture. I am not sure what this says about how Alabama Republicans feel about their state of candidates.
In August, Texas Gov. Rick Perry was the favorite in Alabama with 30 percent. He has since dropped out. And in November, Gingrich was favored with 43 percent. Gerald Johnson, director of the polling center, observed: “The national pattern of a ‘candidate of the month’ fits Alabama as well.” It’s significant that Rick Santorum skyrocketed from 1 percent in August and November to 23 percent in February. The poll, which was in early February, included calls to GOP voters and it came after Santorum’s three-state sweep in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota. Just as I was beginning to believe Santorum would likely carry Alabama, things changed again. In fact, I felt like he might just lead the pack with a comfortable lead over Romney and Gingrich. But if folks in Alabama watched the last debate in Arizona, and saw what I saw, I am now not so sure about the outcome here. In fact, based on performance – and sincerity – Alabamians might go for Rep. Paul. I will be interested to see how the votes in Michigan and Arizona affects Alabama’s vote.
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