| SurveyUSA for Roll Call (8/26-28, likely voters):
Bobby Bright (D): 39
Jay Love (R): 56
Alright, on its face, those are some nasty and disappointing numbers. They're also way out of line with all the polls we've seen of this race so far; internal polls released from both the Bright and Love camps show a dramatically different race. Bright's polling (by Anzalone-Liszt, a firm with a hot streak this year) from earlier this month showed the Democrat leading by 10 points, and Love's latest poll from late July showed the Republican leading by a mere two points. A Capital Survey Research Center poll from earlier this month also showed Bright leading by ten points.
So what gives? The poll's innards give us a big clue. While Alabama's 2nd CD is 30% African-American, SUSA has pegged the black vote at only 16% of the survey's sample. Now, I'm not sure what pollsters like Anzalone, CSRC, or even McLaughlin peg the black vote at, but do we really think that the African-American vote is going to be that depressed this year?
Bright wins the black vote by 82-11, and Love wins the white vote by 66-30. If you re-weight this poll to bring the black vote up to 30%, Love's lead shrinks to 50-46. That's still a much brighter picture for Love since the early August polls, but it's unclear what's happened since then that would boost his numbers so dramatically (ALFA and the peanut farmers endorsing him?), especially given that Bright got a big boost from Dothan GOP Mayor Pat Thomas' endorsement a week before this poll was in the field.
I like SUSA's work a lot, but I suspect they've made a misfire here.
SSP currently rates this race as a Tossup.