If a new poll is at all an accurate indication of November’s midterm elections, then it appears Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Corker (R), will cruise to victory over her opponent, former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D).
What are the details?
A new Axios/Survey Monkey poll released Tuesday showed that Blackburn now has a serious lead over Bredesen. The poll, conducted June 11-July 2, showed that among Tennessee registered voters, 55 percent favor Blackburn and 41 percent favor Bredesen.
The 14-point lead is massive and, if truly representative of voter sentiment in the Volunteer State, might be insurmountable for Bredesen short of a catastrophe from Blackburn’s camp. The poll also represents a major change when compared to previous polls.
All previous major polls leading back to December showed Bredesen leading the race. In April, a Mason-Dixon poll showed Bredesen with a 3-point lead, while a Middle Tennessee State University poll in March showed Bredesen with a whopping 10-point lead.
In addition to the positive news for Blackburn, the poll overall is a postive one for Republicans, who are looking to retain their Senate majority — and maybe even expand it.
The poll showed that three Democrats are poised to lose their Senate seats in November: Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), and Joe Donnelly (Ind.).
What does the poll say about Tennessee?
Trump carried every county in the state in 2016. And this new poll shows that the GOP continues to strengthen in Tennessee: Even a Republican ideologue like Blackburn, juxtaposed with her opponent, who is seen as a pragmatic moderate Democrat with crossover appeal, has a chance to win in November.
Indeed, what will also help Blackburn is her sweeping endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
Tennesseans will be well served by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and I encourage the Senate to consider his nomination expeditiously and to continue to confirm strict constitutionalist judges to our federal courts. pic.twitter.com/CD3NclJiop
— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) July 10, 2018
Meanwhile, Bredesen was more reserved in his post-nominee announcement statement, who committed to hold his Kavanaugh opinions until Senate hearings conclude.
However, given Republican praise of Kavanuagh, if Bredesen wants to appeal to Tennessee voters he will almost certainly have to voice support for Kavanaugh.
What did the campaigns say about the poll?
Alyssa Hansen, press secretary for Bredesen, told TheBlaze:
This is a junk poll. Anyone who has worked in politics for five minutes knows that online polls like Survey Monkey are notoriously wrong. But we know that the only poll that matters is Election Day. Tennesseans are tired of partisan squabbling and are ready to hire Phil Bredesen to be the state’s next U.S. Senator because he gets things done. That’s our focus and we’re taking nothing for granted.
A representative for Blackburn’s campaign did not respond by press time.