Moore was supported by 30.7 percent of those polled, with Strange and Brooks trailing with 22.6 percent and 18 percent, respectively. The three are competing in a crowded 9-candidate GOP field for the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions. Strange was appointed to the seat in February after Sessions resigned to become U.S. attorney general.
The poll was conducted by Republican consulting firm Cygnal and L2 by phone on Tuesday and Wednesday. President Donald Trump endorsed Strange on Tuesday after polling had started.
Brent Buchanan, president of Cygnal, said in a release that he was not surprised by the results and that Trump’s endorsement, while not fully reflected in the poll results, could close the gap between Strange and Moore.
“I expect Moore and Strange in the runoff election, but Strange hasn’t locked down the second spot yet,” Buchanan said. “It will be interesting to see if President Trump’s endorsement of Senator Strange increases voter turnout, which should favor Strange, according to our survey results.”
If no candidate wins a majority Tuesday, there will be a runoff on Sept. 26. Polling on a hypothetical matchup between Moore and Strange showed Moore leading 45 percent to 35 percent, with 13.4 percent undecided.
Strange has already received roughly $4 million in outside money from the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
But Brooks, who has been a major target of the fund’s attacks, accused McConnell of misleading the president in his endorsement of Strange.
The Senate Leadership Fund is beginning to turn its guns on Moore. Moore, for his part, released an ad earlier this week criticizing McConnell for being unable to repeal the 2010 health care law. The ad also slammed the majority leader’s “D.C. slime machine” for “spending millions spreading lies” about the former judge.