Monthly Archives: October 2018

Fox poll suggests widening lead for Blackburn

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a business forum in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018 (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A Fox News poll shows Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn with 50% support, up 2 percentage points from the last time the survey was conducted in early October. Meanwhile, the poll found support for Democrat Phil Bredesen dropped 2 points to 41%.

The poll conducted for Fox by Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Co. gets an A rating from the polling site FiveThirtyEight. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

(UPDATE: A CNN/SSRS poll — rated A-minus by FiveThirty Eight — finds Blackburn with a 4-point lead over Bredesen after previously finding the Democrat with a 5-point lead in September. Two other polls show Blackburn with 8-point leads: Emerson College which is rated at B+, and Cygnal, which gets a B.)

Blackburn’s lead in the Fox poll comes despite 55% of Democrats saying they are extremely interested in the election, compared with 48% of Republicans who say the same. At the same time, 92% of Democrats said they support Bredesen, while 87% of Republicans said they support Blackburn.

Approval of President Donald Trump was 58%, while 39% said the disapproved.

The poll included a sample of 54% self-identified Republicans and 35% Democrats.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee had a 54%-37% lead over Democrat Karl Dean, according to the poll.

Republican mailers target Salinas, Johnson

Republican mailers targeting Democratic Senate candidate Gabby Salinas of Memphis use communist imagery including a hammer and sickle, while others aimed at Democratic House candidate Gloria Johnson in Knoxville arguably go even a step further by invoking former Volunteers’ coach Butch Jones.

The mailers are produced by Direct Edge Campaigns. They are aimed at propping up incumbent Republicans Brian Kelsey of Germantown and Eddie Smith of Knoxville.

See full pages of the ads after the jump.

Continue reading

NBC poll shows Blackburn up by 5 points

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a rally in Franklin on Oct. 17, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A new NBC News/Marist poll shows Republican Marsha Blackburn leading Democrat Phil Bredesen among likely voters by 5 percentage points, which is within the survey’s 5.7-point margin of error.

That 51% to 46% lead narrows to just 3 percentage points among all registered voters, illustrating the importance of voter turnout in deciding Tuesday’s election. The NBC/Marist survey gets an A rating from the polling site FiveThirtyEight.com.

Bredesen led by 2 points the last time NBC polled Tennessee in August. Since then, Bredesen has been hit by a barrage of negative ads by Blackburn and independent groups. Democratic groups have since started to pour in their own attack ads, but have yet to close the spending gap.

UPDATE: An online survey conducted by Republican polling firm Vox Populi found Blackburn with a 53%-47% lead over Bredesen. The last time Vox polled Tennessee in September, it found Bredesen with a 51%-49% advantage over Blackburn. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, and gets a B rating from FiveThirtyEight.com.

One major change in the two NBC polls is the sample: 43% identified as Republicans in the October survey, while just 35% did in the previous one (the percentage of Democrats was similar, with 27% in October and 26% in August). Perhaps in a related finding, President Trump’s approval rating went from 47% in August to 56% in the new poll.
Blackburn’s lead came despite a steep increase in her disapproval rating. The 45% who had  favorable impression of her was down 1 point from August, but the 46% who saw her unfavorably was 10 points higher than in the last poll. Bredesen’s favorability also dropped, but 52% still had a favorable impression, while 39% had an unfavorable one (that +13 rating was down from +39 in the previous poll).

The NBC poll had Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee leading Democrat Karl Dean by 17 points.

Taylor Swift doubles down support for Bredesen

Taylor Swift is drawing another round of national attention for her support of Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen. This time it’s for an Instagram post featuring a photo of the pop megastar and her mother posing in front of a horse trailer with a Bredesen for Senate sign attached to it.

“These two Tennessee women voted for the candidate who has proven himself to be reasonable and trustworthy,” Swift writes in the post. “We want leadership, not fear-based extremism.”

Swift had previously broken her silence on political matters by endorsing Bredesen — and speaking out against Blackburn.

“Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” Swift said in the earlier post.

Bredesen touts role in sending Tennessee Guard to border

A new ad from Democrat Phil Bredesen’s Senate campaign touts his decision to send Tennessee National Guard troops to the border when he was governor in 2006.

“When the president said he needed help to secure the border, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen didn’t wait to be asked. And he didn’t play any politics,” the narrator says in the ad. “Governor Bredesen took immediate action and sent 1,600 Tennessee National Guard volunteers to the border.”

The ad follows a commercial run by Republican Marsha Blackburn criticizing Bredesen for suggesting that a caravan of migrants doesn’t pose a security threat to the strongest country in the world. Blackburn’s ad says the caravan includes “gang members, known criminals, people from the Middle East. Possibly even terrorists.”

 

Blackburn decries ‘angry mob’ while Bredesen supporters look to turn out African-American vote

Democratic candidate and former Gov. Phil Bredesen and Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn shake hands after the 2018 Tennessee U.S. Senate Debate at The University of Tennessee Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, Pool)

As Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn makes a big media push about what she calls a “liberal angry mob” for disrupting a weekend rally with U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an independent group called the Black Progressive Action Coalition has jumped into the contest, spending more than $2.7 million on canvassing and direct mail in its support of Democrat Phil Bredesen.

Early voting has been highest so far in Shelby and Davidson counties, the state’s largest in terms of overall and African-American populations. Bredesen will need to carry both counties by large margins and also peel off traditionally Republican voters in other parts of the state in order to win next week’s election. Blackburn’s efforts will be focused on trying to prevent Republicans who gave President Donald Trump a 26-point victory in Tennessee in 2016 from crossing over to support Bredesen.

Continue reading

A “good to great” flashback for Dean?

When Karl Dean first ran for Nashville mayor in 2007, rival Bob Clement ran TV ads espousing his plan for taking the city “from good to great.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee is making a similar pitch in this year’s governor’s race again Dean.

The idea is pulled from a 2001 management book by Michael C. Collins called Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Other’s Don’t. Lee likes to talk about the concept of taking Tennessee from good to great on the campaign trail (and as he tries to avoid criticizing the achievements of term limited Gov. Bill Haslam, a fellow Republican.

Continue reading

Trump confirms Sunday rally in Chattanooga

President Donald Trump has confirmed his final series of rallies before the Nov. 6 election, including a third visit to Tennessee on behalf of Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn.

After stops in Nashville and Johnson City, Trump’s final visit will be in Chattanooga on Sunday evening.

Continue reading

Tennessee’s uninsured rate up by 10% over 2017

Tennessee uninsured rate increased by 10% over last year, according to a new study released by the University of Tennessee.

An estimated 452,000 Tennesseans are uninsured in 2018, or 6.7% of the state’s total population. That compares with the 408,000 people, or 6.1%, who were uninsured in 2017. That followed a low of 5.6% in 2016. That state’s uninsured rate hovered near the 10% mark between 2006 and 2013, before the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

Continue reading

Lee in new ad: ‘You’ve got a pretty clear choice’

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee in a new ad calls his Democratic opponent Karl Dean “a good man,” but says the election gives voters a “pretty clear choice.”

Lee’s ad comes as Dean has ratcheted up his criticism of the Republican’s positions (such as supporting school vouchers and permitless gun carry) as “extreme.”

Here’s a transcript of what Lee says in the ad:

Well this race is almost over, and you’ve got a pretty clear choice. My opponent is a good man. A public servant. My background’s a little different. I’m an outsider, a farmer, a businessman, chairman of a company with 1,200 employees. Tennessee is a wonderful place, but we’ve got some big challenges, and the next four years, we need a governor who can lead us from good to great. If you agree, I’d sure appreciate your vote.