Black poll shows ‘surge,’ Boyd camp calls it ‘bogus’

U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) speaks at a Republican event in Nashville on May 7, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

An internal poll for U.S. Rep. Diane Black’s campaign shows the Gallatin Republican “surging ahead” of her primary rivals. The Grassroots Targeting poll of 800 registered Republican voters shows Black with 41%, compared with 26% for nearest rival Randy Boyd of Knoxville.

Chip Saltsman, the Randy Boyd for Governor Campaign CEO, promptly issued a statement calling the finding a “bogus poll” that fails to reflect what he called “a clearly competitive two-person race.”

Here is the full May 9 polling memo from Tim Saler of Grassroots Targeting:

Key Findings

  • Diane Black is surging ahead in the race for the Republican nomination to be Tennessee’s next Governor.
    • Black leads her next nearest competitor, Randy Boyd, by more than 14 points (40.6% to 26.3%). Bill Lee (11.4%) and Beth Harwell (6.4%) trail while 15.3% remain undecided.
Diane Black 40.6%
Randy Boyd 26.3%
Bill Lee 11.4%
Beth Harwell 6.4%
Undecided 15.3%
  • Diane Black is now leading in every region of the state, including her home media market and the home media market of Randy Boyd.
    • Black has a substantial lead (43.2% to 21.9%) in the Nashville media market.
    • Black leads in Boyd’s home Knoxville market (40.3% to 29.5%).
  • Diane Black and her campaign are effectively defining her within the conservative mainstream of the party, while voters who are just learning of Randy Boyd are concluding he is too moderate to be nominated – a risky proposition for a potentially-competitive general election where no conservatives can afford to be sidelined in the fall.


We conducted a survey research and analytics project on behalf of Diane Black for Governor, between May 4, 2018 and May 6, 2018. We interviewed 800 registered Tennessee Republican primary voters matched directly to the voter file. We then modeled an enhanced voter file of Tennessee Republican primary voters. Our findings are reflective of the full modeled Tennessee Republican primary voter file.


Statement from the Boyd campaign:

Nashville, Tenn. – Chip Saltsman, Randy Boyd for Governor Campaign CEO, released the following statement regarding the bogus poll put out by Diane Black for Governor earlier today:

Congressman Black must clearly be worried about the message Tuesday’s Republican primary races across the country showed – in Trump’s Republican Party, voters are having a tough time giving a promotion to someone who’s been a part of creating the “DC swamp” in the first place.

The made up numbers they released are nowhere near what our numbers show – which is a clearly competitive two-person race.

The memo they released was not even prepared by their long-standing polling firm of record, but instead, a firm focused on producing “enhanced” models. It is no surprise they failed to release the actual responses from the 800 GOP primary voters they claim to have surveyed – but rather released a cooked number after it was ‘modeled’ by their campaign.

They also failed to share any of the questions asked, any of the crosstabs, or the interview dates or survey method. It’s silly to think that just 15 percent of all primary voters are undecided at this time – when almost every other poll we’ve seen shows that number in the 40s.

Clearly, they are peddling some kind of “enhanced modeled ” push poll to show the results they want. This may be the kind of funny math the Congressman is used to in Washington, but these numbers just don’t add up at all here in Tennessee.

Now we know why the Congressman failed to balance the government’s budget and exploded the federal debt during her many years in Washington.

53 Responses to Black poll shows ‘surge,’ Boyd camp calls it ‘bogus’

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    OK ANBODY BUT BOYD devotees, it’s time to start our psychological drills. Assuming this poll is correct, and assuming she keeps her lead, it will be necessary for us to vote for Diane Black on election day as the candidate most likely to prevent us from having centrist Randy! Boyd as governor.

    For many of us voting for Diane Black after spending considerable amount of time, effort, and/or money trying to defeat her in past elections will be no easy task. If she is most likely to defeat Randy!, however, it is necessary for the good of Tennessee and in order for conservatives not to experience another eight years of pushing, pleading and petitioning trying to get an ideologically hostile governor to do the right thing. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do even though it isn’t easy or particularly enjoyable.

    • James White says:

      Where do you Stuart get off telling us to vote for the ‘likely’ winner? We should vote for the best candidate, not the most likely to succeed. Your philosophy is why we ate 21 Trillion dollars in debt. Yeah, keep it up.

  • Elaine Ervin says:

    Congresswoman Diane Black is THE answer for TN to align itself to the goals and policies of President Trump. She will save our state from establishment failures of the last 8 years. A vote for Diane Black is a vote to Keep America great again!!

    • Jennifer Hamblin says:

      A vote for Diane black is no different than saying President Hillary

      • Matthew Tuttle says:

        Jennifer, you said that about Boyd on a number of occasions too. So between the two which one is the most like Clinton to you?

      • John Patterson says:

        Are you from another planet?
        Diane Black has a 87% sconservative rating from the Heritage Foundation.
        As I recall, Hillary Clinton’s rating was in the single digits.
        ‘Nuff said.

        • ABSOLUTELY. Black has been a horrible legislator and not focused on us. She has been focused on herself. Let’s take a look at her last remarks. She said, “You cant build a wall. That won’t work. It can’t be done.”. She says one thing in Tennessee and something different i DC.

          o. She mocked President Trump’s border wall. I’m an interview with liberal reporter Katie Couric, Black openly mocked and laughed at President Trump ‘s border wall saying: “First of all, you can’t build a wall. That won’t work. It can’t be done.” ,

          o. She voted against a bill that provided $1.6 billion to find the border wall, even most Republicans and President Trump supported it.

          o. She voted for a bill the urging of Democrat Governor to give drivers license to illegal immigrants.

          o. The conservative Heritage Foundation slammed a bill Black supported that funded Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants.


      • Jill says:

        Oh Lord, yes it is!!!
        I know Diane personally and she’s a great woman. Go to a town hall meeting sometime and meet her!

    • Donna DeSopo says:

      Elaine, I served on the Trump Campaign. Diane Black is the RINO SWAMP and met with millionaires in Georgia to undermine OUR President Donald J Trump. Congress holds the purse strings. As the Finance chair, Dirty Dishonest Diane Black LIED about repealing Obamacare. Voted to fund abortions, illegals, sexual abuse by her disgusting political colleagues, I can go on…but why. WE MUST NOT FORGET! Here is the article.

      • ABSOLUTELY. She has not been dependable to take care of Tennessee. She’s been too focused on herself and pleasing Liberals. She helped Governor Bredesen get driver’s licenses for illegals. She didn’t vote for the wall and helped Obama with IMMIGRATION OF Muslims. She’s a turncoat.

  • Jim Brown says:

    Say no to La Raza Randy Boyd.

  • Kirk Loggins says:

    Diane is like a very short, female version of Donald Trump. What a terrible thought.

    • John Patterson says:

      My little Roth retirement nest egg has increased over $51,000 since President Trump was elected and the tax cuts were enacted with Diane Black’s help.
      People all across our country are experiencing these “crumbs” that the Dems and Nancy Pelosi have promised to take away.
      Our economy has grown at rates not seen since the days of Ronald Reagan.
      Unemployment is down to levels not seen in over two decades, wages are climbing, and fewer people are now below the poverty level.
      If Governor Diane Black can help bring this same stuff to Tennessee, what’s not to like!

      • JC says:

        First off, you are wrong on almost every front, but I’m here to talk about Trump – the economy hasn’t slowed at this pace in years, Black did NOTHING to push tax reform (which admittedly I’ve also benefited from and agree with for the most part), and you obviously know little about the woman and where her money comes from. She has thrived on deceit, prison & pharma money, and support from her puppet master husband that writes the lobbyist checks aimed at keeping people in jail and taking Aegis’s $.10 urine tests. Her last campaign ads were shot in a small rented house to make her look more “approachable”, and not in the $26M house she had just moved into… I appreciate success, but lying about it?

    • No she isn’t. Only if she were. She not dependable. You never know what side she is on. Vote Randy Boyd for a great Governor.

  • Jessica Brewer says:

    This is beyond laughable . Let’s just talk about the internal poll. Let’s talk about her coming in third at the Memphis governors televised debate. Let’s talk about her losing in her own district at a straw poll, at one of the largest Reagan day dinner’s in the sixth district.
    Actuality is there are other poles that show she is in third place . Just goes to show you can’t always believe what you read

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Come on Jessica, don’t keep us in suspense, who won the polls you mentioned. If it’s Randy! that is exactly what I fear and it shows the need for those of us who regard a “Governor Boyd” as an anathema to unify and adopt the ANYBODY BUT BOYD strategy.

      • Jessica Brewer says:

        No So it was Bill Lee in first Randy Boyd in second abd Diane black came in third in her own district

    • John Patterson says:

      If you’re that confident about this election, how about a little wager?
      I won big bucks voting for Donald Trump and would love to take some of your money!

    • Donna DeSopo says:

      Thank you Jessica! I attended the Reagan Day Dinner. Diane was flat and all that dirtiness has dulled her shine. But Bill Lee lit up the room! Best candidate for Governor!

    • ABSOLUTELY true. She isn’t what Tennessee w needs at all.. She blows with the wind. Please not her. Randy Boyd is a dedicated Tennessean and has a solid plan for jobs, schools, immigration, etc. You can believe what he says.

  • Geekenstein says:

    Whatever Tennessee legislators and the Governor did the past six years worked. Lowest debt, lowest taxes and top five in educational gains on NAEP. It doesnt get any better than this.

    • Yep, so let’s continue with Haslam’s mentor, Randy Boyd. Haslam chose him to be his Finance Commissioner and during this time, Boyd did a magnificent job learning Haslam’s style of Governing Tennessee. And, while he was serving as the Finance Commissioner, he created 50,000 new jobs for our State. Vote Randy Boyd for Governor of Tennessee.

  • cjmcd says:

    Black voted my way most of the time and anyone who knows me knows I am a staunch Conservative. With her education and work history, this should be a great job for her.

    • Are you sure you wanted illegals to have driver’s licenses? She voted for it. Bredesen urged her to.
      Did you not want the wall to keep out illegals? It’s estimated by the Late brilliant Charles Krauthammer that we have 30million illegals roaming our streets now. She voted against it.
      Did you want Obama’s plan to bring in millions of Muslims to work? She voted for it.

      She is no one that keeps her word to be a loyal conservative for Tennessee.

  • John Crest says:

    Boyd wins a straw poll in Belfast Tennesse. The County Mayor there is working hard for Boyd.

    • Yes, hundreds of mayors and sheriffs around our state have endorsed him. They’re into something for sure. I’m so thrilled we have such a great leader for our Governor! I’m w excited!

  • Jessica Brewer says:

    True conservatives need to keep our memory in check! Diane Black broke her biggest campaign promise when she voted to increase the debt ceiling by $2.1 Trillion! She had also admitted to voting for the illegals to have a drivers license and said she did it because she was asked to do so. I’m sorry if we just went by those to irems alone they do not add up to conservative leadership! Then, then You just gotta love her current claim that she was always a Trumper! Come on folks we are smarter than this in Tennessee !

    • Jill says:

      You’re going on TWO things??? She had no choice but to votes for a dL for illegals.
      Please go to a townhall meeting and meet her. She’s has the people’s best interest at heart and she’s a great woman!!

      • John says:

        I don’t want to make anyone mad, but you always have a choice, ALWAYS . Now if you Mrs. Black that’s great, myself haven’t made up my mind on this race yet. However let it be known I’ll support the Republican no matter what.

      • JC says:

        I’ll add more.. her and her husband spend more on lobbying against medical marijuana than anyone else in the state due to his drug testing company, she Ian funded by pharma and prisons to vote against all cannabis (maybe she was just “asked” to though), she lied in her last campaign ads about where she lives and how she spends her days… she is a complete pawn for her husband and her donors interests, plain and simple. We need a leader, not someone that votes based on her income!

    • Donna DeSopo says:

      Thank you again Jessica! I live in the congressional 6th. Diane Black is a Democrat from Maryland. Diane has funded RINOs against conservatives. She has a D+ conservative voting record. Diane laughs at the voters. She knows that right before an election, she can throw up some Hail Mary piece of legislation to get back in the media spot lot. Diane Black is a NEVER Trumper, like Melissa Gay, Debra Maggart, and the rest of the Maggart Mafia ilk. Folks need to wake up to the SWAMP QUEEN. Here’s the article on NEVER TRUMPER Dishonest Diane i

    • ABSOLUTELY correct. She blows with the wind and votes to please anyone but us. No BLACK!

  • Kenmeth says:

    I have personally met Randy Boyd and his wife and they are wonderful people. Tennessee will be fortunate to have them as our First Family. Folks, the internal poll from the Black campaign showed its bogus pawprints by claiming that she was leadding in Knoxville. Ha! In Diane’s dreams she is!

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      As Lee Ann Womack would say “. . .[he] may be an angel who spends all winter bringin’ the homeless blankets and dinner. A regular Nobel Peace Prize winner. . .” but no conservative Republican should vote for him for the following reasons:

      (1) He has never held elective office before so he is treating the top political office in this state as an entry level position and no one knows for certain how he would handle elective office whereas he is running against two opponents who have a long history in elective office.
      (2) He is a self-declared “moderate” who holds up Mitt Romney as his political hero and invited Jebb! Bush to help him kick-off his campaign thus showing himself to REALLY be a centrist Republican who would, of all the gubernatorial candidates, be most hostile to conservative initiatives.
      (3) He has financially and rhetorically supported programs that would make Tennessee more inviting and comfortable to illegal aliens and can expected to be most hostile to programs supported by conservatives that would do the opposite.

      You get the idea. There are no reliable conservatives in this race so if you are a conservative it’s ANYBODY BUT BOYD!

    • I’m excited to think we can have such an honest hard working gentleman, Randy Boyd as Governor. I’ve investigated him for months now and he’s PRO-LIFE Pro-Family Pro-solution Pro-Family Tennessee. As Finance Commissioner of Tennessee, he has already created 50,000 jobs for us. He’s being smeared by the Liberal MSM with in truths and innuendos and name calling. He will stole that low. We will be so fortunate to have him. #MAGA

  • Mike S. says:

    I want to know when somebody is going to run a poll about Diane Black’s cooked up racist assault charge that three black men tried to kidnap her on a downtown Nashville street when in fact it was a teenage two little kids. One of which never got out of the car. According to the police report they tried to steal her purse and she was never in any danger. Rumor has it that she fought the them off with a crescent wrench; the very same same crescent wrench she used to change a muffler. Diane Black is walking billboard for what a lying politician looks like.

  • Ted Bell says:

    The Zelenik loons won’t like this. Isn’t Black a fan of Sharia Law?

  • Helen Van Patterson Patton says:

    I have it on good authority that the straw ballot bowl was stuffed for Lee at the Wilson County prior to the dinner even beginning, an observer noticed a bunch of ballots already in the bowl with very few people in the room plus the number of ballots cast for Governor did not match the ballots cast for Congress. Wilson County is notorious for supporting only candidates they like.

  • Tommy Ray McAnally says:


  • Bill Tyler says:

    Running for governor kind of seems like a step backward for Ms Black.

    Having said that, she does remind me of the Hillary Clinton of Tennessee.

  • J D White says:

    If this hag gets in Tennessee is done, another crooked Hillary, and we’ll have these draconian laws still in effect, she wants to garentee her greedy income from private prison’s and her husband’s drug testing business.

  • Lee Greer says:

    Accuracy of Rep. Black’s in house poll might be questioned as it states it is based on polling of 800 “registered” Republican primary voters. Unless I am mistaken, Tennessee still does not have party registration, i.e., closed primaries. At best pollsters screened for respondents who have voted in past Republican primaries. Much of state still undergoing sea change in party preferences, Democratic primary for governor and U.S. Senate appear uncompetitive.

    Oh yeah, almost forgot, it’s MAY!! Old cliche: in politics tomorrow is a long time and next week is forever.

  • Bob Kirk says:

    Randy Boyd shows strong support in polling at Reagan Day Dinners across the State. Randy will be a great Governor.. He is very popular in Dyer County..

    • Donna DeSopo says:

      Randy Boyd gave $250,000 to La Raza, and Anti-American group. He made a BIG LEAGUE mistake by blocking conservatives for asking him his position on 1. the gas tax, 2. giving ILLEGALS in-state tuition 3. dumping more “refugees” in our state. Then Boyd has the audacity to send me 2 letters begging for money. You BLOCK the voice of the PEOPLE, You LOSE! NEXT!

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