Poll shows Riley pulling ahead of Windom
Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 9, 2002
A poll released last week showed U.S. Rep. Bob Riley, pulling further ahead of GOP competitor Lt. Gov. Steve Windom and likely beating Gov. Don Siegelman in the November general election.
The survey, released by Marketing Research Institute, was based upon an 800 voter sampling, helping to determine the leaders heading into the June 4 primary.
Poll results showed Riley with a 10 percent lead over Windom and a 16 percent lead over Greenville businessman Tim James.
"Bob Riley has a strong lead in the Republican Primary for Governor," the release stated, "and has a 50 percent probability of winning the Republican Primary without a run-off."
The release also announced that if Riley and Siegelman were to meet in November’s general election, Riley would defeat the incumbent by 6-to-10 percentage points. The same numbers show Windom losing to Siegelman by at least five points if the lieutenant governor makes it to the November general election.
"We still have a lot of work to do but we feel real good about these poll numbers," said Leland Whaley, with Riley’s campaign. "This is just another survey that has said pretty much the same thing, showing us with as much as a 14-point lead over Windom, so we are starting to believe it."
Another poll released last week by the Alabama Education Association also showed Riley with a strong lead over Windom and predicted a "competitive" race in November.
"It is nice to see a number of polls from different political angles showing similar results," Whaley said.
As for the survey’s estimate Riley has a 50 percent chance of winning the GOP nomination without a run-off, Whaley said the campaign is not betting on anything.
"You would always like to win without a run-off," Whaley said. "But you have to be prepared to take the campaign to a run-off just in case."
Another bright spot for the Riley campaign was the fact the poll was taken nearly a month after the announcement of Hyundai’s new plant and the 2,000 jobs connected with the company’s arrival.
The survey also pointed out that Riley would likely help lower level Republicans in the primary and general election.
Numbers indicate Riley would help down ballot GOP candidates by 9 percent, compared to just 2 percent by Windom.