Tennessee Star Poll: Boyd Leads Black by 5 in GOP Gubernatorial Primary, Lee Close Behind in Third Place

Randy Boyd, Diane Black, Bill Lee
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Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd leads Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06) by 5 points, 32 percent to 27 percent, among likely Republican gubernatorial primary voters in a Tennessee Star Poll released today.

The battle for the Republican nomination for governor in Tennessee is now a three-way race, with Williamson County businessman Bill Lee surging into a strong third position, with 20 percent. Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) is no longer a factor in the Republican gubernatorial primary, coming in a distant fourth position with only 7 percent of the vote. Only 13 percent of poll respondents said they were undecided.

The poll of 1,040 likely Tennessee Republican primary voters was conducted for The Tennessee Star by Triton Polling and Research over a four day period beginning Monday June 25 and ending Thursday June 28 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

The Tennessee Star Poll released today indicates there has been significant movement in the race since the last Tennessee Star Poll results in December 2017.

At that time Diane Black had a ten point lead over Randy Boyd, with Black receiving the support of 21 percent of likely Tennessee Republican primary voters, followed by Boyd in second place with 11 percent. Rounding out the bottom tier of candidates were Speaker Harwell with 6 percent, Bill Lee with 4 percent, and then candidate for Governor former State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) with 3 percent. Beavers later dropped out of the race and is now running for Wilson County Mayor.

The new Tennessee Star Poll released today indicates that Boyd has moved into the lead with 32.6 percent, followed by Black with 26.9 percent, Lee with 20.3 percent and Harwell at 6.9 percent. These figures underscore the reason why Black launched an attack ad targeting both Boyd and Lee earlier this week.

Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill notes that with only 13 percent of voters being undecided the support levels for each candidate are starting to firm up with early voting beginning a little over two weeks from now on July 13.

“Each candidate has essentially secured those who like them, now they have to pull people away from their opponents in order to move the dial which is why you are starting to see the attack ads fly,” Gill says.

“Diane Black has a Bill Lee problem and I expect to see them increasingly start attacking each other in the next week or so. Lee has to bring her down in order to catch up, and she has to stop his momentum immediately while also bringing Boyd’s numbers down. The bloodletting most were expecting is about to begin in earnest.”

“It is shaping up as a three-way race, as Harwell hasn’t moved in the past 6 months,” Gill adds. “And as the noise level goes up as we enter the last 5 weeks to the August 2 primary election, it will be increasingly difficult for candidates to get the voter attention needed to produce big moves.”

Early voting in the August 2 primary election begins on July 13 and continues until July 28.

The winner of the Republican primary will face off against the winner of the Democratic primary, in which former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is favored over State Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley), in the November general election for governor.

The Tennessee Star Poll also included questions on various issues and the approval/disapproval ratings for several Tennessee political figures that will be shared over the next several days.

You can read the first page of the top line summary of the poll results here:


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14 thoughts on “Tennessee Star Poll: Boyd Leads Black by 5 in GOP Gubernatorial Primary, Lee Close Behind in Third Place

  1. […] to 27 percent among likely Republican gubernatorial primary voters in a Tennessee Star poll released June […]

  2. […] percent, Lee 18.8 percent, Harwell 10 percent, and 23 percent undecided. The Tennessee Star Poll, released last week, had slightly different results, with Boyd in the lead with 32.6 percent, followed by Black with […]

  3. […] less than one month away, the latest Tennessee Star / Triton Poll – released Friday – shows the first-time candidate is in a close third place behind front-runners Randy Boyd and Diane Black […]

  4. Will the real Randy Boyd please stand up ??????

    Or, better yet, just go away…………

  5. […] Tennessee Star Poll released on Friday of likely Republican primary voters shows Boyd leading Black by 5 points, 32 percent to 27 percent. […]

  6. Dave Hirschfield

    So the Tennessee Star is backing Randy “La Raza” Boyd or Diane “Muslim Brotherhood” Black over the only candidate that would favor Americans over our enemies. Bill Lee.

  7. […] Tennessee Star Poll released on Friday shows that Lee has surged into third place in the Republican gubernatorial primary with 20 percent […]

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      I will vote for Lee if he is most likely to defeat Boyd but I’m sorry, with two proven tepid conservatives like Black and Harwell how can you be enthusiastic about a No Record Candidate like Lee? Or should I say No Record that his campaign cares to divulge to the voters. Because he’s an “outsider”? Sort of like upon hearing that I need brain surgery I request the least experienced brain surgeon because he’s an “outsider” who can bring a fresh perspective to brain surgery. Sorry folks, that’s mindless.


    A couple of weeks ago (May 26th to be precise) I saw a blog where “LaRaza” Randy was likening himself to President Trump. That concerned me greatly so I spent the better part of a day doing some research on him and posted a reply on that blog. Just so we understand each other I consider Boyd to be a fraud and a political con man. I am very much like Stuart in that I am firmly in the A B B camp. Although for me the names fitting that discussion could be either candidate that fits.

    That belief about Boyd is based solely upon the research I did and for your information and edification here is that post:

    “I feel we all understand people in political life (Politicians) often misstate facts, deliberately distort the truth, or downright lie to us. I absolutely hate it when I know they are doing that. (Granted I can also understand them not telling the WHOLE story or telling a “white” lie because I also feel we all may do that from time to time – like telling an accident victim “you are going to be fine” when deep down we don’t believe it ourselves.)

    When I first saw this commercial I was amazed or flabbergasted. When I saw it a second time I was sick to my stomach. I won’t see it a third time.

    For “La Raza Randy” to call himself a “conservative businessman, not a professional politician” to me is like Attila-the-Hun calling himself Mother Teresa. Boyd’s association with Governor Haslam goes back for years to Haslam’s time as mayor of Knoxville and Boyd’s time with Knox Archives. In 2013 Boyd purchased from the Haslams their share of the Tennessee Smokies baseball team. His association with the Governor got stronger when he (the Governor) appointed Boyd to be Commissioner of Economic and Community Development for the State of Tennessee. For Boyd to say he is “not a professional politician” is him admitting he was not very good at the job because he was and is “a politician.” It far stretches of the truth in that he says he was not “an elected politician” because he was not “elected” – he was appointed.

    What about his claim he is “a conservative businessman” . . . well he is a businessman. As for him being conservative you would have to judge for yourself. In 2012 he, in a large way, supported and raised money for Mitt Romney and has said “He (Romney) is someone I would aspire to be like, ….” In April 2015 Mike Gibson, when discussing politics with Randy Boyd in an article in the KNOXVILLE MURCURY, quotes Randy as saying “I’m probably the most hated, disrespected, untolerated political entity in existence, I’m a moderate.” In that interview he is also quoted as saying he rates himself as “a fiscal conservative (meaning he is a cheapskate unless he is spending your money) who believes that freedom should carry forward to social issues, too.” The interviewer also notes he is a staunch supporter of Common Core. [Editorial Comment: by reading between the lines, it would seem as if he believes that the liberal position on gay marriage, abortion, and etc. is the correct position.] In 2016 he (Boyd) was a supporter of and a fundraiser for Jeb Bush. We all remember Jeb as an adamant “Never Trumper”. In September 2016 it was reported the Randy and his wife, Jenny, donated $250,000 to Conexión Américas, an organization founded by Ms. Renata Soto. In 2015, Soto was elected as chairman of the board of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), an organization generously funded by George Soros. She had previously served as vice-president for three years. This donation has not been confirmed by the Boyds but in a letter dated September 15, 2016, Ms. Soto says
    “Dear friend, I can’t think of a better way to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month today than with sharing this news about Randy and Jenny Boyd’s historic investment in the expansion of Conexión Américas’ lauded culinary incubator and entrepreneurship program. Their $250,000 donation represents the single largest individual gift to Conexión Américas in our 14-year history.”
    So you be the judge – is Randy Boyd a Conservative?

    So now let us talk about the meat of this commercial when he is trying to place himself standing right along next to President Trump. Before the 2016 general election he disavowed Trump. On June 13, 2016 Carl Gervin, in an article in the NASHVILLE POST, reports that while at a conference held in Utah by Mitt Romney while discussing Trump and fundraising for his campaign Randy is quoted as saying “The idea of putting my name on anything is anathema to me.” I didn’t know what anathema meant so I Goggled it to find the definition. Here is what I found:
    Google’s Definition: “something or someone that one vehemently dislikes.”
    Merriam-Webster’s Definition: “someone or something intensely disliked or loathed – usually used as a predicate nominative.”
    Merriam-Webster’s Learners Definition: “someone or something that is very strongly disliked – usually a politician who is anathema to conservatives/liberals.”
    Cambridge University Press’s Definition: “something that is considered completely wrong and offensive.”

    Now here we are two years later and President Trump has done what he said he would do. His approval rating is on the rise and Tennesseans have a very favorable view of him. The “never Trumpers” have sulked back into their holes. Now our boy Randy wants to be standing beside Trump – what a hypocrite. How big of fools does he think we are? Not that big….”
    Jim Garrett

  9. Horatio Bunce

    It was the Bill Dance “Go Vols” commercial…wasn’t it? Tennesseans would vote for the devil himself if Peyton Manning/Phil Fulmer/Johnny Majors would endorse (see Lamar! for instance, who couldn’t carry his home county).

  10. Stuart I. Anderson

    Precisely as I predicted, and I’m not happy about it. This talk of Randy! falling into third place is whistling past the graveyard my fellow conservatives, not when you simply know all the centrist and a good part of the tepid conservatives will vote for Boyd together with the Democrats voting in the Republican Primary.

    OK conservatives, are you going to stubbornly cling to your pet candidate and endure eight years of centrist Boyd or are you going to act strategically for the greater good? I’m not crazy about Diane and I find No Record Candidate Lee almost insulting but I will vote for either in order to avoid Randy!. At this time it looks like we have to unify behind Black or Boyd gets in with less than 40% of the vote. Please conservatives – ANYBODY BUT BOYD!

  11. It is a shame that Bill Lee would not take a stand on same-sex marriage nor transgender restrooms. This link is audio to Mr. Lee’s own words on these two major moral issues.

  12. lb

    Boyd?? SERIOUSLY ?? He is left of HASLAM–he is a PHONY.
    Anyone giving $250K to this illegal promoting organization is not fit to be Gov. Already shown a lack of awareness about the devastating effect of illegals in TN
    The same illegal immigrant advocate runs both organization. Renata Soto ALSO was the head of LaRaza (the Race) which advocates the mexican takeover of the SW States of the USA

    1. Horatio Bunce

      And the same Bill Gates that bought and paid for the current public education system in Tennessee also props up Conexion Americas illegal alien program in Tennessee:

      See, there needs to be “equity” between you and the illegal aliens.

      Tennessee is a prostitute of the globalists. We do EVERY thing they say to get money.