A new Tennessee Star Poll of likely voters in Tennessee provides further evidence that the race for the U.S. Senate is very tight, while the Governor’s race is firmly in the control of Bill Lee.
The survey indicates that Republican Marsha Blackburn leads Democrat Phil Bredesen by a 48.3 percent to 45 percent, with 6.7 percent undecided. That three point margin for Blackburn is consistent with a Fox News Poll released earlier this week., which also showed Blackburn leading by three points. Like the Fox News Poll, the Tennessee Star Poll has the two candidates within the margin of error.
The Tennessee Star Poll was conducted by Triton Polling and Research from September 10-12, 2018 and surveyed 1038 likely voters. The poll has a three percent margin of error.
The Governor’s race is not close at this stage of the campaign. Republican nominee Bill Lee is well ahead of Democrat Karl Dean, 53.7 percent to 37.3 percent with 10 percent undecided, a 16 point lead for the Williamson County businessman. Again, those numbers are consistent with the Fox News poll that had Lee leading by 20 points.
Other polls have indicated that Bredesen’s personal approval rating is enabling him to pull support from Trump supporters and Republicans who would normally be firmly behind the Republican nominee. The Tennessee Star poll reflects the same thing. with a question that specifically focused on generic support for a Republican versus Democrat Senate candidate.
Q7: All other things being equal, if the election for the U.S. Senate were held today, would you be MOST likely to vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate?
In response to that question, 52 percent opted for the Republican with 41.4 percent opting for the Democrat, a generic 11 point margin. Yet, Blackburn leads her Democrat opponent by only three points.
Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill says that Blackburn has a lot of room to expand her lead in the next six weeks by driving home her support for President Trump and making sure voters understand that they are choosing whether Republicans or Democrats will control the U.S. Senate. “It is a close race, but Republicans don’t need to panic, they just need to run an efficient and effective effort to turn out their base and make it clear why party affiliation matters,” Gill points out. “The behavior of the Senate Democrats during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings have definitely helped make Blackburn’s case.”
You can see the top line summary of the poll questions and results here:180913 Triton - TN Star Tennessee Statewide Survey - Topline Results (1)