Internal poll finds Alexander with 65% approval rating among Republicans

As U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander mulls whether to run for another term, his pollster has found that the incumbent is “in a strong position” to win the Republican nomination if he runs again. According to the internal poll memo obtained by The Tennessee Journal, Alexander has a favorability rating of 65% among Republican primary voters, compared with just 22% who view him unfavorably.

Alexander’s job performance was rated at 64%-27% among “very conservative” Republicans in the poll, while it was 73%-18% among somewhat and moderate Republicans.

Alexander has said he will decide before the end of the year whether to run again.

The survey of 600 likely Republican voters was conducted Nov. 26 through Nov. 29. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Here’s the full memo:

To:         Steve Smith, Treasurer, Alexander for Senate 2020

From:    Whit Ayres, President, North Star Opinion Research

Date:      December 10, 2018

Re:         Senator Alexander’s Ratings Among Tennessee’s Republican Voters

Our firm conducted a survey of 600 likely 2020 Republican primary voters in Tennessee November 26-29, 2018, with a margin of error of ±4.00 percent.  The results show that Senator Alexander remains very popular in the Tennessee Republican electorate.  The key findings are:

  • Two-thirds of Tennessee’s Republican primary voters rate Senator Alexander favorably.  His favorable-to-unfavorable rating is 65 to 22 percent among all Republican primary voters.
  • More than two-thirds of Tennessee’s Republican primary voters approve of Lamar Alexander’s job performance as Senator.  Sixty-nine percent of Republican primary voters approve of his job performance, and 23 percent disapprove.
  • Approval of Lamar Alexander’s job performance as Senator extends across all ideological groups and all three Grand Divisions.  His job performance is 64 to 27 percent support among very conservative Republicans, and 73 to 18 percent among both somewhat conservative and moderate Republicans.  His job performance is 67 to 24 percent support in the west, 65 to 25 percent in the middle, and 72 to 18 percent in the east.

Senator Alexander is in a strong position to win the Republican nomination for Senate should he decide to run again in 2020.  He is very likely to win the general election as well given the strong Republican leanings of the state and his general election performance in the past.  In 2014 his winning percentage was 62 percent, and in 2008 it was 65 percent when he received 1,571,637 votes, the most for any candidate in a statewide election in Tennessee history.

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