Early GOP gubernatorial polls: Black leads Boyd (most voters undecided)

A majority of Republican voters are undecided about who to support in the 2018 governor’s race, but of those willing to give a pollster a preference, U.S.  Rep. Diane Black apparently holds the lead with former Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd running second.

Black’s margin over Boyd is five points bigger in the Tennessee Star poll than in the Tennesseans For Student Success polls.

From Tennessee Star: Black received the support of 21 percent of likely Tennessee Republican primary voters to lead the field of five contenders, followed by Boyd in second place with 11 percent. Rounding out the bottom tier of candidates are Speaker of the Tennessee House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) with 6 percent, Bill Lee with 4 percent, and former State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) with 3 percent.

The good news for Black’s four rivals for the GOP nomination is that 52 percent of likely voters in the August 2018 Tennessee Republican gubernatorial primary are still undecided.

Star also polled on what it deems six “key policy questions.” Results include findings that 48 percent of GOP voters oppose “Gov. Haslam’s gas tax” while 41 percent approve and that 64 percent are more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes removal of Confederate Civil War monuments while 26 percent are less likely to support such a candidate.

And a separate Tennessee Star story reports President Trump’s favorable rating among Tennessee Republicans stands at 84 percent while Sen. Bob Corker’s comparable rating has fallen to 22 percent.

The Tennesseans for Student Success poll has Black at 16 percent, Boyd at 13 and Harwell at 7. Lee and Beavers were at 5 percent while 54 percent were undecided, according to The Tennessean.

In the Democratic gubernatorial primary, 33 percent of voters said they’d cast a ballot for former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean if the election was immediately held. Eight percent of respondents said they’d vote for House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh.

…Although it is one of the first polls of its kind, some doubt is being cast on the results because the survey was conducted Nov. 5 to Dec. 4. Typically, political polling is done over a one- to four-day period.

Other questions have come up about the poll because of connections between Tennesseans for Student Success and one of the candidates in the race… While questioning the results of the poll, one gubernatorial campaign pointed to Austin McMullen, who serves on the board of directors for Tennesseans for Student Success. McMullen is on the finance committee for Harwell’s gubernatorial campaign and is the chair of a Davidson County campaign committee.

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