A new Tennessee Star Poll reveals that Republicans who accept contributions from the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) may face a backlash in a primary contest. The survey asked whether voters would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who accepts funding from the TEA. An overwhelming number of 75.6% indicated that they would be LESS likely to vote for a candidate receiving funds from the teachers union; a mere 8.5% would be MORE likely; and 15.9% indicated that they didn’t know.
The Triton Polling survey was conducted over four days (April 13-16) and polled 1003 likely Republican Party primary voters statewide. It has a margin of error of 3.1%.
The poll results almost exactly mirror responses to the same question of 1000 likely GOP primary voters that was conducted by Triton December 12-18, 2017. In that poll GOP primary voters were asked:
The Tennessee Education Association and National Education Association are unions that use Tennessee teachers’ dues to oppose the Second Amendment, support Planned Parenthood, and attempt to elect political candidates like Hillary Clinton. Would you be more likely or less likely to support a Republican candidate for the state house or senate who accepts money from these organizations?
6.3% indicated that the TEA/NEA support would make them “more likely” to support a Republican candidate; 76.3% would be “less likely” to support such a candidate; and 17.3% were “not sure or didn’t know.”
The TEA/NEA have been strong supporters of Democrats and liberal causes in Tennessee and nationally. The increased activism of the union, and threats of illegal strikes, are unlikely to appeal to Republican primary voters in the 2020 elections. Nor will their pattern of costly and frivolous lawsuits that waste taxpayer dollars and educators’ time.
Republican candidates who tie themselves to the radical liberalism of the teachers’ unions by accepting their money may find their association hard to explain to voters in the August 2020 primary election season. Even the teachers’ union members themselves are starting to question the salaries paid to union leaders from the dues they pay out of much less exorbitant wages. The bottom line for Republicans? Those TEA union donations may come at a very steep price.
You can read the full results of the poll here:190416 Triton - TN Star Statewide Tennessee Survey - Topline Results
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Photo “Red for Ed” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.