Cygnal Strikes Again: Correctly Predicts Moore-Strange US Senate Duel

It seems like only yesterday the politicos and public were saying: “There’s no way he can win.” They said, “His opponent has an enormous ‘war chest,’ he plays fast and loose with the rules, and he’s too much of an outsider.” And just like our President, Roy Moore rode in on his populist horse to the tune of 54.6% of the vote to win the Republican primary runoff for the US Senate.

Who could’ve predicted that two underfunded, outsider candidates – Trump and Moore – would shock the world with their political victories in a matter of months?

Oh, that’s right. We did. (And that’s the end of outright boasting…for now.)

During recent election cycles, a growing number of campaigns have been blindsided by a flurry of inaccurate polling. Amid the chaos and confusion, Cygnal has stood firm as a bastion of accurate results at an affordable price point.

Throughout Alabama’s special election Republican primary and runoff for US Senate, Cygnal conducted private and public polls using both hybrid (live operator to cell; IVR to landline) and IVR-only methodologies.

Two weeks prior to the Alabama runoff, well-respected pollsters were predicting a race as close as 1%, with Strange gaining ground. During that time, Cygnal’s polling had Moore in the driver’s seat with a lead outside the margin of error.

In the final stretch of the primary, the firebrand challenger tightened his lasso around the Senate seat, increasing his lead in our poll by almost 2%, despite the incumbent pouring millions into media buys across the state.

With five days left before the election, Strange would receive cover fire from the Republican Party’s most powerful weapon: President Trump.

President Trump’s popularity among Republican voters in Alabama is no secret – reaching as high as 86%. An endorsement by POTUS, along with a rally, was expected to give Strange the push he needed to retain his lead.

Within 24 hours of the rally’s end, Cygnal was back in the field to measure its impact leading up to election day. Opting for an IVR-only methodology, Cygnal collected just shy of 1,000 responses over two nights.

In both low and high turnout models, Trump’s rally and endorsement not only failed to move the needle in Strange’s favor, Moore’s lead actually jumped to 11%.

Any pollster will tell you that a partisan primary runoff is one of the most difficult types of races to peg. However, with a margin of error of 3.1%, Cygnal felt confident in calling the race for Moore the day before the election.

Election Day offered no surprises, with Roy Moore winning 54.6% of the vote and the spread falling well within our margin of error at 9.2%. Adding to our reliability was our high-turnout model falling within 3% of actual turnout. And just like in the Primary, Moore performed 2pts less than our final survey.

How We Got It Right

Being spot-on is our core focus. We have continually honed our polling process for more than 5 years and have successfully predicted races in more than 30 states.

Regardless of our samples collection methodology – fully automated, automated landline/live cell mix, or fully live – our track record of success shows unequivocally that Cygnal’s approach is one of the most reliable on the GOP side of the aisle.

While some non-traditional polling firms simply try to get as many responses as possible and then handover the results, we adhere to proven statistical techniques that anticipate turnout and fills an accurate, representative sample.

Cygnal also adheres to rigorous checks and balances throughout our process. Without giving away our secrets, it is safe to say that our established systems lead to verifiably accurate results. We are an outlier, and that’s a good thing. We do it right – Every. Time.

Our Process

Below is a quick overview of how our process works

  1. Start with high-quality demographic and contact data from the population to be researched.
  2. Determine from the population who has the potential likelihood to participate in an election.
  3. Develop a random sample of registered voters to field.
  4. Stratify the random sample according to key demographic data to be fully representative of the population.
  5. Select the appropriate fielding method to collect results.
  6. Use professional voice recordings, stratification, and other tactics when performing automated fielding to ensure maximum participation and high response rates to gather a large, statistically relevant sample of the population.
  7. Supplement an adequate percentage of cell phone-only respondents.
  8. Weight the sample according to key demographics and geography to ensure the sample is representative of the modeled turnout electorate, while keeping weighting multiplier to less than 1.3 – which is 0.7 less than the industry-accepted average.
  9. Compare the weighted sample to the target population along several key indicators to ensure it matches.


During recent election cycles, a growing number of campaigns have been blindsided by a flurry of inaccurate polling. Amid the chaos and confusion, Cygnal has stood firm as a bastion of accurate results at an affordable price point.

By adhering to our proven process, we make polling available to organizations and groups who otherwise couldn’t afford traditional research prices.

Cygnal is different, in a good way, and we are ready to help your campaign or organization conduct survey research that leads to making informed decisions.