Tennessee Senate race: Bredesen and Blackburn deadlocked in new poll

The race to be the next senator from Tennessee is deadlocked.According to a ...

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 2:39 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 2:39 PM

The race to be the next senator from Tennessee is deadlocked.

According to a new Vanderbilt University poll, former Democratic Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn are separated by a statistically insignificant 1 percentage point among registered voters in the contentious Senate race, the latest evidence that a race Republicans once believed would be guaranteed for their side could be one of the closest on Election Night.

Continents and regions

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Marsha Blackburn

North America

Phil Bredesen

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

Southeastern United States

Tennessee

The Americas

United States

US Congress

US Federal elections

US political parties

US Republican Party

US Senate

US Senate elections

Among voters who say they are certain to vote, the race is tied -- 45% for Bredesen and 45% for Blackburn.

"The bottom line is that Tennessee's Senate race will be determined by which candidate is better able to turn out their base, as well as any national waves that occur—blue or otherwise," said John Geer, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science.

After Republican Sen. Bob Corker announced his retirement, party officials in Washington believed the seat would almost certainly stay red because President Donald Trump won Tennessee by 26 percentage points. But Bredesen's entrance into the race gave Democrats hope, given the former governor enjoys a deep well of independent support from his time in office.

That is evident in the latest poll, which found that Bredesen is significantly more popular with Republicans than Blackburn is with Democrats. Thirteen percent of Republicans told the pollsters that they planned to vote for Bredesen, while 5 percent of Democrats said they would back Blackburn.

"Our poll results show that this race is still very much a tossup," said Josh Clinton, co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll. "Eight percent of voters are still undecided, and depending on who those voters choose, and who turns out to vote, this race could easily go either way."

Bredesen has run as a moderate Democrat in the 2018 Senate race, pledging to break with his party when needed and back the President when he believes it is best for the state. One recent example: Bredesen announced that, if he was in the Senate, he would have voted yes for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose contentious but successful nomination was marred by sexual assault allegations and emotional fights on the left.

Blackburn, an arch conservative with deep ties to Republicans in Washington, has relied on the natural political inclinations of the state and looked to tie Bredesen to leaders in Washington like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Bredesen, however, has said he would not back Schumer for Democratic leader in the Senate if he wins.

While the Vanderbilt polls found the race tied, other recent polls have found the Republican with a slight lead.

The Vanderbilt Poll was conducted by telephone October 8-13 among a random sample of 800 Tennessee registered voters. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 133851

Reported Deaths: 1803
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28467459
Washington18734171
Marion16247239
Clackamas11698138
Lane8353109
Jackson693085
Umatilla679368
Deschutes499936
Yamhill319045
Malheur313552
Linn311646
Polk245540
Klamath242838
Josephine174333
Benton170514
Jefferson170525
Douglas168743
Union111416
Wasco108123
Columbia104918
Lincoln99617
Hood River95421
Coos93815
Morrow93810
Clatsop6865
Crook62110
Baker5685
Tillamook3652
Curry3245
Lake2305
Grant2131
Harney1754
Wallowa963
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00
Eugene
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 24°
Corvallis
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 28°
Roseburg
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
North Bend
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 35°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events