It is not surprising that former Democrat Governor and Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen has a significant lead over Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn among likely voters in heavily Democrat-leaning Davidson County. What is a bit concerning for Republican supporters of Blackburn in the level of support that Bredesen receives from Davidson County voters who identify themselves as Republicans. The polling data is from a recent Tennessee Star poll conducted by Triton Research, which conducted an automated poll of 607 likely voters over a two day period April 12-13, 2018.
One of the questions in the poll dealt with the upcoming U.S. Senate race in November, 2018 with Bredesen and Blackburn competing as their party nominees. Respondents were asked:
“If the election was held today, who would be your choice for U.S. Senate, Marsha Blackburn or Phil Bredesen?”
Overall, Bredesen outpolled Blackburn among Davidson County self-identified likely voters by a margin of 58.8% to 36.2% with 5.1% undecided. Among self-identified Democrat voters Bredesen had an advantage of 86-10 over Blackburn; with Blackburn leading among Republican voters by a 73-21 gap. Independent voters split 63.5 to 31 in favor of Bredesen.
In the poll, 46% of respondents identified themselves as Democrats while 35% said they were Republicans. 17% claimed to be Independent.
Conservative Republican political strategist Steve Gill pointed out that the survey was conducted in what should be considered one of Bredesen’s strongest base areas since it was one of only three counties in the entire state that voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. “His numbers among Democrats are not unexpected, and “independents” in Davidson County would overwhelmingly lean toward the Democratic Party, so those numbers are not surprising,” Gill pointed out. “The 21% support from Republicans is higher than the Blackburn team will like, but those numbers may shift somewhat as the Blackburn campaign increases the volume of their media campaign in the next several months.”
Blackburn won’t expect to or try to carry Davidson County, Gill said, but she will depend on the other 93 counties that overwhelming pushed Trump to a 61-35% margin over Hillary to win in November.