A new poll released Oct. 30 shows Dean Young with a three-point lead over Bradley Byrne going into a final weekend of campaigning between the two Republican candidates before the special runoff election Nov. 5.
Conducted by Cygnal, a Montgomery-based consulting group, the poll showed that out of 1,027 participants, 443 would likely support Young while 413 would likely support Byrne.
In a press release, Cygnal Managing Partner Brent Buchanan said he was “shocked” at the results and after an initial review, asked his data analyst to double and triple check the numbers.
“I said, ‘I am not putting my name on something unless you are 100 percent confident of the results,’” Buchanan said this morning.
Despite Young’s apparent three-point advantage in the poll, Buchanan said it is within the margin of error and therefore a statistical tie. But Buchanan also noted that a poll conducted by his firm in September accurately predicted the results of the primary election between seven of the nine candidates. Dean Young was the only one to outperform that poll — by double.
“I don’t know if his supporters don’t have phones or indoor plumbing, but when he is on the ballot they come out of the woodwork to vote,” he said.
Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Byrne has raised a total of $689,214 to Young’s $85,456. According to Cygnal’s analysis, one potential reason for Byrne’s positioning, despite his overwhelming fundraising advantage, is his favorability rating. Buchanan said both candidates polled a ratio of below two-to-one on favorability.
“Traditionally, candidates with such disparate resources are not so similar in favorability/unfavorability ratios,” Buchanan said.
The poll also showed Young with an advantage among male voters, but Byrne winning Baldwin County, where both candidates live. Mobile County is expected to draw nearly 60 percent of voters for the entire district, which also includes four other counties to the north.
“It’s important to remember that polling is just a snapshot of a moment in time, but it can show trends and movement. Our ﬂash poll shows that 16.6 percent of people are undecided, and either Byrne or Young has a shot at this point,” Buchanan concluded.
In a Facebook message, Young pointed to the poll as a “sign that we can win,” urging his supporters to help get out the vote Tuesday. Young strategist Jon Gray said the Cygnal poll reflects those conducted internally and no matter the outcome, shows voters want change in Washington.
“We’ve been optimistic for six weeks but have been trending upward and in the lead within a extremely close range since Byrne’s attack ads this month,” he said. “What it shows is that money doesn’t matter. We have awesome volunteers that may not be able to put $100 in a hat that gets passed around, but are willing to donate their time and energy at a level that I’ve found surprising. ”
Byrne spokesman Alex Schriver said the opposite, that Cygnal’s poll does not reflect their internal polling.
“We are going to win,” he said. “It’s a close race and there’s a lot at risk for South Alabama. From Austal and Airbus, to ongoing economic development projects, we need a Congressman willing to fight a broken Washington for us. Bradley Byrne is that person.”