U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) leads Phil Bredesen in the U.S. Senate race by eight points, 50 percent to 42 percent, CBS News reported in a new Battleground Tracker poll.
CBS says that in this race and several others where Democrats hope to win upset Senate victories, they are “having at best mixed results so far.” Those other states are Texas and Arizona. Democrats are having better luck in typically blue New Jersey.
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These races have been nationalized, CBS said. By more than two to one, registered voters say national issues outweigh local ones. Voters say their vote is mainly about the country’s direction. Majorities of each candidate’s voters say they aim to put their party in control.
Those who say they support either Blackburn or Democratic former Governor Bredesen say their level of support is “very strong” (62 percent) vs. “strong” (24 percent).
Voters feel relatively more satisfied about the country’s direction in Texas and Tennessee — where the Republicans lead and where President Trump is more popular — compared to voters in New Jersey and Arizona, where the president’s approval rating is under 50 percent.
Trump looms large in each of these contests. In all of them, most who plan to vote Democratic say they are opposing Trump, while most who choose the Republican Senate candidate say their vote will be to support the president.
Only a third of those voting for Bredesen want a senator who will challenge the president as much as he or she can.
In Tennessee, 47 percent to 30 percent wanted Kavanaugh nominated to the Supreme Court. The nomination has been a large issue in the state, The Tennessee Star has reported.
Blackburn and Bredesen are even on health care. With no incumbent in the race, more than half of voters view each of the candidates as representing change.
The CBS News 2018 Battleground Tracker is a series of panel studies. The poll is conducted by YouGov, an online polling company. The polls interviewed 1,002 respondents in Tennessee between October 2–5. The margin of error is 3.4.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.