Poll: Dean, Black, Blackburn, Bredesen lead in approval ratings ahead of ’18 primaries


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WATE) — Former Nashville mayor Karl Dean has the highest approval for Democrats in the upcoming gubernatorial primary, according to a poll conducted by Middle Tennessee State University. However, there is not a clear lead for Republicans.

“Some frontrunners seem to have emerged in some of the primary races, but it’s much too early to forecast winners, even in the primaries that presently look lopsided,” said Dr. Ken Blake, director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University.

Six hundred Tennessee voters were reached during the poll by a sample of landline and cell phone numbers. The poll looked at standings for the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.

Dean had a 49 percent approval ratings for Democrats and Craig Fitzhugh received 26 percent.

Tennessee 6th Congressional District Representative Diane Black has a 33 percent approval among Republicans, however, Tennessee House of Representatives Speaker Beth Harwell has 32 percent of the sample.

Out of all Tennessee voters, Harwell and Dean received the highest approval ratings at 23 percent each.

“All of these candidates have double-digit percentages of undecided voters, both among voters from their own parties and from across the Tennessee electorate as a whole. Any of the races easily could shift during the months ahead.”

In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, state Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn received 55 percent of Republican voters approval. Andy Ogles received 19 percent and Larry Crim received 12.

Also, former governor Phil Bredesen received a 60 percent approval rating from Democrats for the U.S. Senate race. However, he has not declared himself as a candidate. Andy Berke received 32 percent and James Mackler received 28. Mackler is the only declared candidate for Senate among Democrats in the poll.

For all Tennessee voters, Blackburn and Bredesen received the highest approval rating at 37 and 34 percent respectively.

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