POLL: Nashville Voters Evenly Split Over Withdrawn Sanctuary City Ordinance

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A new Tennessee Star Poll shows likely Nashville voters are evenly split over the “sanctuary city” proposal recently withdrawn by Metro Council members Bob Mendes and Colby Sledge.

The poll of 533 likely Nashville voters was conducted within hours of Mendes’ announcement last week that he and Sledge were permanently withdrawing a controversial “sanctuary city” ordinance from a vote on third reading by the Metro Nashville Council scheduled for July 6, as well as a related ordinance scheduled for an August vote.

When asked, “Metro Nashville Council was scheduled to vote on a proposal next week that would, in effect, turn Nashville into a sanctuary city where illegal immigrants are protected from arrest and deportation. Do you support or oppose the proposal for Nashville to become a sanctuary city?,” 49.4 percent supported, while 47.1 percent opposed, a statistical tie since the 2.3 percent differential is within the poll’s 4.2 percent margin of error:

31.9% Strongly support
17.5% Somewhat support
8.6% Somewhat oppose
38.5% Strongly oppose
3.4% Not sure/don’t know

The poll results directly contradict Mendes’ claim made last week when he withdrew the controversial sanctuary city ordinances that “Inside the county, the support has been overwhelming for these bills.”

Of particular interest to political observers is the intensity edge found among opponents of the sanctuary city ordinance.

Thirty-eight and a half percent of Nashville likely voters strongly oppose the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinance, while only 31.9 percent strongly support it. The 6.6 percent differential is beyond the poll’s 4.2 percent margin of error.

“Despite the overwhelming pro-illegals propaganda campaign of city officials and the local media, an increasing number of Nashvillians – along with those in surrounding counties — are recognizing the risks of embracing lawlessness as a public policy objective,” media consultant and political analyst Steve Gill tells The Tennessee Star.

“If we will learn the lessons of cities who have followed the destructive path of endorsing illegal activities Nashville may be able to avoid the predictable results rather than experiencing them ourselves. But that will only happen if voters get informed and engaged in the debate,” Gill adds.

The starkest result of the poll is the extent to which the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinance has pitted Nashville/Davidson newcomers against long time residents.

While 52.8 percent of likely voters who have lived in Nashville/Davidson County for more than 20 years oppose the sanctuary city ordinances, 96.5 percent of likely voters who have lived in Nashville/Davidson County for less than five years support the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinance.

Opposition to the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinances increases dramatically with the length of time a likely voter has lived in Nashville/Davidson County:

96.5 percent of likely voters who have lived in Nashville/Davidson County for less than five years support the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinance, while only 3.5 percent oppose it

63.7 percent who have lived in Nashville/Davidson County for more than five years but less than ten years support the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinance, while 27.8 percent oppose it.

53.2 who have lived in Nashville/Davidson county for more than ten years but less than twenty years  support the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinance, while 44.3 percent oppose it.

43.5 percent who have lived in Nashville/Davidson county for more than twenty years  support the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinance, while 52.8  percent oppose it

Opposition to the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinances is very high among Republicans and significant among Independents. In contrast, Democrats strongly support it. Forty-four percent of respondents were Democrat, 31 percent Republican, and 22 percent Independent.

Among Democrats, 74.6 percent support the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinance, while 20.9 percent oppose it.

Among Republicans, 79.5 percent oppose the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinance, while 18.6 oppose it.

Among Independents, 53.6 percent oppose the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinance, while 43.9 percent oppose it.

The Davidson County/Nashville poll results contrast sharply with the recent poll conducted at the same time in San Francisco by Survey USA, which showed that 70 percent of adults in that California liberal enclave support continuing city’s sanctuary policies, while only 24 percent want to stop them.

Sixty percent of San Francisco adults said they are Democrats, while only 11 percent said they are Republicans.

Among San Francisco Democrats, 81 percent support continuing sanctuary city policies, while only 15 percent want to stop them.

Among the few San Francisco Republicans, 48 percent want to stop the sanctuary city policies, while 42 percent want to continue them.

Those policies have backfired fiscally  for the City of San Francisco, where the murder of Kate Steinle by an illegal alien in 2015 brought the city’s sanctuary policies to national attention.

Last week, the city announced that it was paying an illegal alien $190,000 in a settlement because police officers in the city informed ICE agents of the wherabouts of the illegal alien, who had a decades old deportation order in the system.

Even in liberal San Francisco, more residents thought that settlement set a bad precedent, by a 41 percent to 30 percent margin.

Mayor Megan Barry, a native of California who supports a left wing open borders pro-illegal immigrant agenda, called on Metro Nashville Council to reconsider the sanctuary city ordinance one day before its withdrawal after the Metro Nashville director of laws said it would be unenforceable.

In the 2016 Presidential election, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in Davidson County by a 60 percent to 34 percent margin, one of only three counties in Tennessee where Clinton won.

Statewide, Trump defeated Clinton 61 percent to 35 percent.

The sponsors promised to accomplish the goals of the withdrawn sanctuary city ordinances through other means at his press conference last week.

“Mendes said the bills had become “a political football” among candidates for office, specifically mentioning the Republican primary for next year’s gubernatorial election. All of the announced and anticipated candidates spoke out against the bills,” The Star reported:

The opposition became so fierce, with many state legislators opposed and also a budding grassroots movement, that Mendes’ claim of broad support within Davidson County is likely debatable.

Mendes and other supporters vowed Wednesday to find non-legislative ways to achieve the same ends.

“Our goals are unchanged,” he said.


Triton Polling and Research conducted the poll of 533 likely Davidson County voters between June 28 and June 29 via automated telephone survey. The poll’s margin of error was 4.2 percent.

You can see the partial poll results below. The full poll results will be released with additional stories on Thursday and Friday:




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9 Thoughts to “POLL: Nashville Voters Evenly Split Over Withdrawn Sanctuary City Ordinance”

  1. […] due to intense opposition from state legislators and Nashville voters. A Tennessee Star Poll showed that likely Nashville voters were evenly split over the “sanctuary city” proposal even though […]

  2. […] that progressivism in Nashville has its limits. A poll commissioned by The Tennessee Star showed that likely voters in Nashville and Davidson County were divided on the issue. In District 33, there […]

  3. […] recent Tennessee Star Poll showed that, contrary to claims by the sanctuary city ordinances sponsors, support for the proposal was […]

  4. […] Ten members of the Metro Nashville Council who voted “yes” on the second reading of the sanctuary city ordinance on June 20 are in re-election jeopardy for 2019 because they are in favor of a policy that many of their constituents oppose, according to the results of a recent Tennessee Star Poll. […]

  5. Nancy Sanders

    The fact that so many of the city’s newcomers overwhelmingly supported the bill does not bode well for the future of Nashville. Are the newer residents younger? Are they more likely to be minorities? More likely to be Democrats? I wish we had more granular information about who these people are, as well as longtime Nashvillians.

  6. John Yossarian

    I’m all for making the homes of Megan Berry, Bob Mendes and Colby Sledge into “Sanctuary Mansions”. Any creep who proposes or casts a vote for this illegal legislation ought be forced to house as many foreign invaders as they can safely (or unsafely) accommodate.

  7. Wolf Woman

    Mayor Moonbeam Megan Barry should take a good look at California. CA is on its way to being a failed state, so deep in debt that there will never be enough Mexicans (unless it’s Carlos Slim) to bail it out. Wonder how she feels about the murder of Kate Steinle?

    She and her multiculturalist cohorts want to turn Nashville into a leftist mire, filled with social engineering laws so that us little people will know what to do, when and where to do it. Not because they love this city, not because they honor the history here (they hate our history, it embarrasses them). They are power hungry, as are all socialists.

    Mayor Moonbeam why don’t you and the Metro Council spend your time figuring out how to tie our city together with sidewalks, how to get a decent public transportation system working and how to fix the city’s crumbling infrastructure? These are the important things for us who live here, not your utopian dreams of moonbeams, rainbows and unicorns dancing together to the global connection beat.

    1. Jamse Sheffield

      Well said liberals will now destroy Nashville like every city that they run. Have lived in or around Nashville for 73 years used to be a great place to live but mayors like Berry are making it a place to not live.

  8. Bob

    Part of being the “it” city means that those rushing to make it their new “it” home bring with them the many of ideals and policies that turned their former places of residence into the messes that they are so often trying to escape.