Tennessee Senate race: Bredesen and Blackburn deadlocked in new poll

The race to be the next senator from Tennessee is deadlocked.According to a ...

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 4:39 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 4:39 PM

The race to be the next senator from Tennessee is deadlocked.

According to a new Vanderbilt University poll, former Democratic Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn are separated by a statistically insignificant 1 percentage point among registered voters in the contentious Senate race, the latest evidence that a race Republicans once believed would be guaranteed for their side could be one of the closest on Election Night.

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Among voters who say they are certain to vote, the race is tied -- 45% for Bredesen and 45% for Blackburn.

"The bottom line is that Tennessee's Senate race will be determined by which candidate is better able to turn out their base, as well as any national waves that occur—blue or otherwise," said John Geer, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science.

After Republican Sen. Bob Corker announced his retirement, party officials in Washington believed the seat would almost certainly stay red because President Donald Trump won Tennessee by 26 percentage points. But Bredesen's entrance into the race gave Democrats hope, given the former governor enjoys a deep well of independent support from his time in office.

That is evident in the latest poll, which found that Bredesen is significantly more popular with Republicans than Blackburn is with Democrats. Thirteen percent of Republicans told the pollsters that they planned to vote for Bredesen, while 5 percent of Democrats said they would back Blackburn.

"Our poll results show that this race is still very much a tossup," said Josh Clinton, co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll. "Eight percent of voters are still undecided, and depending on who those voters choose, and who turns out to vote, this race could easily go either way."

Bredesen has run as a moderate Democrat in the 2018 Senate race, pledging to break with his party when needed and back the President when he believes it is best for the state. One recent example: Bredesen announced that, if he was in the Senate, he would have voted yes for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose contentious but successful nomination was marred by sexual assault allegations and emotional fights on the left.

Blackburn, an arch conservative with deep ties to Republicans in Washington, has relied on the natural political inclinations of the state and looked to tie Bredesen to leaders in Washington like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Bredesen, however, has said he would not back Schumer for Democratic leader in the Senate if he wins.

While the Vanderbilt polls found the race tied, other recent polls have found the Republican with a slight lead.

The Vanderbilt Poll was conducted by telephone October 8-13 among a random sample of 800 Tennessee registered voters. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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