A recent poll shows Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, who has announced his bid for a second term, holds a 19-point lead over ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, among likely voters in the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary.
The Mobile Register-University of South Alabama poll showed Riley with 44 percent and Moore with 25 percent. The remainder were undecided.
The results mark a dramatic turnaround from January, when a similar poll found Moore leading the governor 43-to-35 in a hypothetical GOP contest.
The findings also defy what was once the prevailing political wisdom in Alabama: that Riley, weakened after voters drubbed his billion-dollar tax plan in 2003, would be a one-term governor and no match for Moore.
The former chief justice became a hero among religious conservatives after being removed from office in 2003 for his refusal to move his Ten Commandments monument out of the Alabama Judicial Building rotunda.