Republican Sen. Richard Shelby remains well ahead of his Democratic challenger in his bid for re-election in Alabama, according to Rasmussen Reports.
Shelby picked up 59 percent of the vote, while Democrat William Barnes received just 29 percent, in the July 22 Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of likely voters. Six percent would vote for a different candidate, and another 6 percent are not sure.
Shelby held a nearly identical lead last month and in May, just before he easily won the state’s Republican nomination. The latest numbers are relatively unchanged from our first look at the race in March.
Initially elected to the Senate as a Democrat in 1986, Shelby switched parties in 1994 and remains a popular figure in Alabama. He was reelected in 2004 with 68 percent of the vote against only token opposition.
Barnes, a lawyer and political newcomer, picked up 61 percent of the vote last month to win the Democratic nomination.
Shelby earns 91 percent support from Republicans, while Barnes is backed by 69 percent of Democrats. Shelby holds a nearly four-to-one lead over Barnes among voters not affiliated with either major political party.
Alabama is rated as a safe Republican seat in the upcoming election, according to the Rasmussen Reports' Senate Balance of Power
In Alabama, 69 percent favor repeal of the national healthcare law, which is higher than national results. Just 26 percent in Alabama oppose repealing the plan. Those numbers include 61 percent who strongly favor repeal and 20 percent who strongly oppose it.
Shelby picks up support from 79 percent of the much larger group that strongly favors repeal, while 67 percent of those who strongly oppose repeal back Barnes.
Nearly one-third view Shelby very favorably, and 14 percent, very unfavorably. Just 6 percent have no opinion of the incumbent senator.
Barnes’ ratings are 11 percent very favorable and 8 percent, very unfavorable. Nearly 40 percent do not know enough about the nominee to offer an opinion of him.
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