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Poll: Bredesen leads Blackburn in favorability scores in U.S. Senate race

Phil Bredesen currently holds a public poll lead over Marsha Blackburn, according to statistics released Thursday by Vanderbilt University. (WCYB Archive)

The latest figures from a Vanderbilt University poll show former Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen has a high favor rating among voters in his race for a U.S. Senate seat against Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.

The survey asked 1,400 registered voters their choice in the Senate race with Bredesen gathering 67 percent had a favorable view, Blackburn had 49 percent and garnered high support among GOP voters at 72 percent.

Poll producers noted that the poll skewed center-right with 32 percent identifying as Republican, 31 percent as independents and 25 percent as Democrats.

Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science co-director John Geer said the lead for Bredesen was significant but not a lock. "Partisanship could swing voters back in Blackburn's favor and bring home the GOP base," he said.

In the Tennessee governor's race, Congresswoman Diane Black scores high in name recognition but only has a 44 percent overall favorability rating. Businessman Randy Boyd's rating is much higher at 53 percent but fellow candidates Bill Lee and Tennessee house speaker Beth Harwell also got high marks at 63 and 56 percent, respectively, according to the report.

Other data released in the Vanderbilt survey:

  • President Donald Trump's approval rating rose to 53 percent since December
  • Governor Bill Haslam remains the most popular politician in the state at 66 percent
  • Tennessee voters give support to in-state tuition eligibility for children of undocumented immigrants (65 percent), expanding Medicaid (66 percent) and raising pay for public school teachers (77 percent).
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