An unsourced poll of 300 registered voters in four State House districts indicates strong support for Governor Bill Lee’s ESA school choice plan — and even stronger support for President Donald Trump and Governor Lee. The four legislative districts where the poll was conducted over March 23-24, 2019 are represented by Republican legislators seen as swing votes in the House Education Committee where the ESA plan is expected to come up for a vote this Wednesday evening.
The poll, leaked to The Tennessee Star, is clearly intended to let the legislators know that a vote for the ESA plan will be popular with their constituents. A more sinister motive may also be to let them know that the Republican Governor who is strongly advocating for his school choice plan is VERY popular in their districts. All four of the legislators included in the poll, Rep. Iris Rudder (Winchester), Rep. Scott Cepicky (Culleoka), Rep. Tom Leatherwood (Arlington) and Rep. Kirk Haston (Lobelville), are first term legislators.
Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill noted that the specific poll numbers are not that important, and the lack of details and sourcing raises questions about the accuracy of the polling data. “The fact that the ESA plan is apparently popular and that polling is being done in their districts sends a pretty clear message,” Gill said. “I wouldn’t say this remotely approaches hardball – maybe t-ball. But it probably communicates to these swing votes on the Education Committee that the Governor, the Speaker and their supporters are taking this particular vote very seriously.”
Read the poll findings as they were shared with The Star:
[pdf-embedder url=”https://tennesseestar.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/TN-HOUSE-DISTRICT-ESA-POLLING.pdf” title=”TN HOUSE DISTRICT ESA POLLING”]