joe biden

Poll: Trump holds 56% to 42% advantage over Biden in Tennessee

Campaign signs outside an early voting location in Nashville on Oct. 21, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican President Donald Trump leads Democrat Joe Biden by 14 percentage points, according to a new SurveyMonkey-Tableau 2020 poll.

The online poll of 4,642 likely voters had Trump with 56% and Biden with 42%. Trump won Tennessee 61% to 35% against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Among men, 65% preferred Trump, while 34% backed Biden. Women were split 49% to 49% between the two candidates.

Biden was ahead in Tennessee among younger voters (65% of those 24 or younger and 55% of those between 25 and 34), but Trump held a wide advatage among older voters (62% of those between 45 and 64).

Trump led by a margin of 70% to 29% in rural areas, though that advantage dropped to 53% to 45% in the suburbs. Biden led 60% to 37% in urban areas.

The poll is co-sponsored by the political news site Axios. But polling site FiveThirtyEight.com doesn’t hold the survey in particularly high regard, giving it a D-minus rating.

Report: Democratic congressional nominee bounced checks to Biden, state party

Christopher Hale, a candidate for the 4th Congressional District who won the Democratic nomination despite fraud allegations dating back to his time as the head of a Catholic nonprofit in Washington, bounced checks to presidential candidate Joe Biden and the state party, according to the Tennessee Lookout.

According to Lookout reporter Nate Rau, Hale bounced a $2,000 check to attend a Biden fundraiser last year. Another $2,500 to the Tennessee Democratic Party didn’t clear in July 2019. Haile issued a series of denials about failing to cover his checks. He told the Lookout he had been invited to the Biden fundraiser by host Bill Freeman without being required to pay. He said he was unaware of a problem with the check to the state party.

After losing a previous bid for the Democratic nomination in the 4th District, Hale proposed launching a political action committee to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support campaigns. While he did found the Our Tennessee PAC, it has since shown no fundraising activity, according to campaign finance reports.

State Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) said Hale told her he planned to raise between $150,000 and $200,000.

“He told me, and he told a lot of people, he was going to raise all this money and he never did,” shesaid.

Read the full report here.

Akbari to speak at Democratic presidential convention today

Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) takes a selfie with colleagues and Gov. Bill Lee before the start of the State of the State address in Nashville on March 4, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Sen. Raumesh Akbari of Memphis is one of 16 speakers deemed rising Democratic stars scheduled to speak at the party’s presidential convention to nominate Joe Biden on Tuesday.

“Amidst all of the chaos and crises our nation is facing, Democrats are focused on finding new and innovative ways to engage more Americans than ever before—because that’s how we’ll mobilize the nation to defeat Donald Trump in November,” Joe Solmonese, CEO of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, said in a release. “The convention keynote has always been the bellwether for the future of our party and our nation, and when Americans tune in next week they’ll find the smart, steady leadership we need to meet this critical moment.” 

Akbari was elected to the Senate in 2018 after previously serving in the state House since 2013. She is the chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, former chair of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators, and national treasurer of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. She also spoke at the 2016 Democratic convention in support of then-nominee Hillary Clinton.

Bloomberg drops out, endorses Biden

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg waits backstage during a rally in Chattanooga on Feb. 12, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Mike Bloomberg, who spent about $8 million on ads and hired more than 40 staffers in Tennessee, is dropping out of the presidential race. The former New York mayor is endorsing Joe Biden, who won Tennessee on Tuesday.

Bloomberg had pledged to dedicate his money and campaign machinery to support the nominee if he didn’t win the nomination.

Biden wins Democratic presidential primary in Tenenssee

Former Vice President Joe Biden rode a wave of momentum from his South Carolina win on Saturday to big victories in Tennessee and other Southern states on Tuesday.

With more than three-quarters of precincts reporting, Biden had 42% of the vote, compared with 25% for Bernie Sanders, 16% for Mike Bloomberg, and 10% for Elizabeth Warren.

Biden won or was leading in 91 of the state’s 95 counties, with is top vote totals coming in Shelby, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Hamilton, and Rutherford counties.

Sanders had his biggest vote total in Knox County, home of the University of Tennessee’s flagship campus in Knoxville, but ended up being edged by Biden by 161 votes. Sanders carried Washington County, where Eastern Tennessee State University is located, and Putnam County, the home of Tennessee Tech, plus Unicoi and Lewis counties.

Bloomberg showed solid results around the state as early votes were tallied, but began to fade as primary-day ballots started flowing in.

Chattanooga Mayor Berke backing Biden after Buttigieg drops out

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has switched his endorsement to Joe Biden after Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race.

“In 2015, when a gunman attacked two military facilities in Chattanooga and senselessly killed five brave servicemembers who proudly served our country, Joe Biden, who has lost too many loved ones, showed up to console the heartbroken families,” Berke said in a release. “In a moment of horrific tragedy, Joe Biden helped heal our community. That’s the type of leader Joe is and it’s why I believe he is uniquely positioned to bring our nation together.”

As recently as Saturday, Berke was at a Nashville rally supporting Buttigieg, who dropped out after a disappointing finish when the the South Carolina primary results were released later that day.

“Let’s put someone in the White House who will unite all Americans, bring dignity to the most powerful office in the world, and fight every day for hardworking families in Chattanooga and across the nation,” Berke said. “I am proud to endorse Joe Biden for President of the United States.”

Tennessee’s presidential primary is on Tuesday.

Here’s what Democratic candidates have spent in Tennessee before the Super Tuesday primary

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg meets with supporters after speaking at a rally in Chattanooga on Feb. 12, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has made up three-quarters of the more than $10 million Democratic candidates have spent in Tennessee in advance of the Super Tuesday primary.

According to spending tracker Advertising Analytics, Bloomberg has dropped $7.7 million on broadcast televisions, cable, digital, and radio ads. Bernie Sanders has spent about $567,000, the Elizabeth Warren-supporting Persist PAC $446,000, and Joe Biden $179,000.

Among former candidates, Amy Klobuchar had spent about $817,000,  Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer $604,000, and Pete Buttigieg $40,000.

Here’s a breakdown from Advertising Analytics:

Advertiser Broadcast Cable Digital Radio Total
Bloomberg 5,305,465 451,482 1,438,611 474,386 7,669,944
Klobuchar 543,013 225,375  –  – 816,859
Steyer 446,931 42,848 79,705  – 604,057
Sanders 398,681 94,054 74,432  – 567,167
Persist PAC 371,415 74,971  –  – 446,386
Biden 166,141  –  – 12,697 178,838
Buttigieg  –  – 39,926  – 39,926
TOTALS 7,231,646 888,730 1,632,674 487,083 10,323,177

(This post has been updated to reflect Klobuchar dropping out of the race)

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris endorses Biden

Lee Harris, right, speaks a press conference in Nashville on Jan. 23, 2018. To the left are Reps. John Ray Clemmons and Rep. Dwayne Thompson. (Photo credit: Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris is endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary. Harris, a former state senator from Memphis, said Biden presents a “vivid contrast with the current president.”

Harris in July appeared at a Nashville rally with another Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., another candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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