The Alabama Forestry Association released poll results from a poll they commissioned this week. The poll shows incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey (R) coasting to a win in the Republican primary and likely re-election. Some of Ivey’s Republican primary opponents said that the poll was wrong or misleading. Some suggested that it was even intentionally so.

Most of the 500 people who told the McLaughlin Group that they were likely to vote in the Republican primary, responded that they preferred Ivey. She received 60% of the vote. Tim James came in a distant second with just 13.6% of the vote. Lindy Blanchard was polling at just 10.6% support. Stacy George came in fourth with 1.4% of the vote. Some 14.4% were undecided. Other candidates were not included in the poll results.

Some of Ivey’s campaign opponents said that there are reasons to be skeptical of this polling.

Lee County pastor Dean Odle has been campaigning all over the state for the last 17 months and his name was not included in the poll as an option.

“So…the Forestry Association poll has Kay Ivey winning in a landslide and they failed to mention several candidates running against Ivey,” Odle said. “This is not really a surprise coming from the establishment-leaning groups. Many times, polls are used to manipulate voters into voting for the desired 'winner.' Frankly, I don’t know who they are polling because I have been in the race since September 2020, traveling and speaking to many GOP groups, gun groups, and grassroots organizations and the one thing that I hear the most from people is 'I am not voting for Kay Ivey.' I hear that from the overwhelming majority of people in these various political meetings.”

Odle referenced Donald J. Trump’s unlikely victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign of 2016.

“Everyone should remember that in 2016, all of the polls had Trump losing to Hillary,” Odle said. “In the Rust Belt, Trump was behind Hillary by double digits in all the states he eventually won. There was a massive miscalculation by the pollsters because the establishment did not understand how upset the people were. They also did not understand how many people would not say publicly that they were voting for Trump, but when they went into the voting booth, their secret ballot was for Donald Trump. I believe we are going to see this in the Alabama Governor’s race. The Alabama establishment is about to be shocked.”

Birmingham area businessman Lew Burdette was also left out of the polling.

“There are nine people in the race and only four of them are in the poll,” Burdette’s campaign manager Kenny Dean told 1819 News.

Dean said that Ivey is not breaking the 50% threshold in their internal campaign polls. Dean suggested that the poll was tilted to exaggerate Ivey’s popularity to promote a narrative by the Montgomery establishment.

The poll also looked into the Senate race and found Mo Brooks trailing Katie Britt and Mike Durant.

Dean suggested that wealthy backers such as the Forestry Association are trying to make Ivey appear stronger than she is with paid-for polls.

“That poll was completely bogus and corrupt,” Dean said. “...Nothing against Kay but it is time for new leadership."

Apryl Marie Fogel is a spokesperson for Lindy Blanchard.

"There are two things that stick out with that poll, the number of pro-choice people and the number of non-Republicans,” Fogel told 1819 News. “These are people who do not share the concerns and view of Alabama Republican primary voters.

"This poll was designed to artificially inflate Kay Ivey’s numbers."

A veteran political consultant who is not involved with any of the gubernatorial races spoke with 1819 News on the condition of anonymity. She said, “They oversampled Jefferson County where Katie is strong and where Mo is weak and included a lot of people who are not likely to vote in a Republican primary.”

The Ivey campaign followed up the poll’s publication with a statement extolling this poll and the numbers from two other polls.

Austin Chambers is the general campaign consultant for Ivey’s campaign.

“In Governor Ivey, Alabamians know they have a fighter who will always push back against the overreaches of the failing Biden White House and defend Alabama’s conservative values,” Chambers said. “Governor Ivey’s conservative record of success speaks for itself – and that fact is clearly reflected in these recent poll numbers from three different pollsters. While we are encouraged by these poll numbers, they don’t matter if we don’t continue doing our job. We need to keep up the momentum to ensure that Governor Ivey wins the Republican nomination outright on May 24. In these final two months of the campaign, our spending will significantly increase, the Governor will continue delivering her message personally in every corner of Alabama, and our campaign will continue building a strong grassroots organization to turn out the vote — we’re going to take nothing for granted.”

Lindy Blanchard, Lew Burdette, Stacy Lee George, Kay Ivey, Tim James, Donald Trent Jones, Dean Odle, Dave Thomas, and Dean Young are all running in the Alabama Republican Primary on May 24.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email