Poll: Republicans Marsha Blackburn and Bill Lee Lead in Tennessee

Combo picture of Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Lee

Republicans Marsha Blackburn and Bill Lee are ahead in Tennessee’s upcoming U.S. Senate and governor’s races.

In the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) leads her Democrat challenger, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, 48 percent to 44 percent, according to a Gravis poll released Tuesday morning. Previous polls showed Bredesen with a three and six-point lead.

In the race to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, Republican businessman Bill Lee has an 11-point lead (51-40) over Democrat Karl Dean, the former mayor of Nashville.

On top of the fact that Tennessee is a red state, the GOP has additional wind at its back.

To begin with, President Trump enjoys a solid job approval rating of 54 percent, with only 41 percent disapproving. Moreover, sitting Gov. Haslam’s job approval rating is a whopping 60 percent.

The good news for Blackburn is that, unlike her state’s current sitting Republican senators, Corker and Lamar Alexander, she is not seen as a member of the Republican establishment. Corker, who openly opposes Trump, has an approval rating of just 38 percent (16 points below Trump), so it is probably a good thing Corker retired. Re-election would not have been an easy road for the unpopular incumbent without the support of the state’s Republican base.

Alexander’s job approval rating is 45 percent, a full nine points below Trump’s.

By a spread of four points, Nancy Pelosi is more damaging to a Tennessee candidate than Trump. A full 51 percent said they are less likely to support a politician who is aligned to Pelosi, compared to 47 percent for Trump.

But only 15 percent said they are more likely to vote for a Pelosi-aligned candidate, compared to 43 percent for Trump.

Other interesting numbers:

  • A full 59 percent oppose abolishing ICE, while 23 percent support it.
  • Candidates who support abolishing ICE would lose 49 percent support.
  • A full 52 percent want to see Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, confirmed, while only 30 percent disagree.
  • Candidates who support Kavanaugh are more likely to win 47 percent of the vote.
  • A full 56 percent want a border wall built between the U.S. and Mexico, while only 40 percent disagree.
  • Only 44 percent believe the Russia investigation is justified, while 52 percent see it as politically motivated.
  • Only 38 percent approve of special counsel Robert Mueller, while 48 percent disapprove.

According to this poll, at least, all the media wishful thinking about Tennessee trending Democrat is nowhere to be seen.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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