Public polls give Roy Moore a comfortable lead in the Alabama Senate GOP runoff. But private polls commissioned by allies of Sen. Luther Strange show Tuesday’s election is much closer — within the margin of error.
The disparity between the two sets of polls is no small matter: The private polling helped persuade the White House to go all in for the appointed senator, including President Donald Trump's rally for him Friday night in Huntsville.
What explains the different numbers? To begin with, polling off-year special elections is difficult: Fewer voters turn out, and enthusiasm among even a small segment of the electorate can swing a race. Add the fact that it’s a primary runoff, taking place six weeks after the initial vote, and it’s an even smaller universe of voters who will be participating.
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