A lot of eyes are focused on Missouri, West Virginia, etc, but it looks like Tennessee deserves a lot more attention this midterm because it could easily flip to the Democrats. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) chose not to seek re-election after serving two terms.

The latest Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy poll shows Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) down by three points to former Governor Phil Bredesen, her Democrat opponent.

46% of those who responded favor Bredesen and 43% favor Blackburn. 11% of the respondents remain undecided.

Bredesen’s lead falls within the 4-point margin of error.

Both candidates reside in Middle Tennessee, which has Bredesen at 49% and Blackburn at 42%. Bredesen received 51% of the respondents in West Tennessee while Blackburn only had 38%.

The fight is not over, though, because people in East Tennessee chose Blackburn. 48% of those who responded support her and Bredesen only had 39%. However, that is not too much of a surprise as RealClearPolitics pointed out that part of Tennessee has “been a been a bastion of strong Republican support since the Civil War.”

At the beginning of the race, articles came out that Bredesen had more name recognition than Blackburn. This latest poll from Mason-Dixon shows that name recognition is now equal between the two, “but Bredesen’s favorable/unfavorable ration (43/18) is better than Blackburn’s (35/26).”

The Mason-Dixon poll has Bredesen with a slim lead, but a Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) poll from April 5 gave him a 10 point lead:

In the race for U.S. Senate, 45 percent of Tennessee registered voters said they would choose Bredesen if the election were held tomorrow, while 35 percent said they would select Blackburn. Another 17 percent said they weren’t sure, and the rest declined to answer.“Bredesen is off to a good start, and Blackburn has some ground to make up,” said Dr. Ken Blake, director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University. “But neither candidate has a majority, and with 17 percent undecided, four months to go until the primary and another three after that until the general, this is still either candidate’s race to win – or lose.”

The key point in both polls falls on attracting voters from other parties. In the MTSU poll, 45% of the independents who responded chose Bredesen and 33% chose Blackburn. 20% of Republicans said they’d cast a vote for Bredesen, but only 5% of Democrats would vote for Blackburn.

Dr. Jason Reineke, the associate director of the poll, explained that when Bredesen served as governor, the school’s polling “showed him consistently attracting appreciable support among Republicans and independents as well as among his fellow Democrats” and it looks like that work “may be paying dividends for him now.”

The Mason-Dixon poll found that 12% of Republicans would vote for Bredesen and 4% of Democrats would vote for Blackburn.

Blackburn received endorsements from President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Corker. The latter has decided not to campaign for her since he is friends with Bredesen.

The Democrats wanted Bredesen to win the primary, but he “is now 75 years old, and the state has moved away from the Democrats in the past decade. RealClearPolitics believes “it seems like a stretch to believe that” the Democrats can win this seat “in today’s Tennessee, although the national environment will probably keep him in the game.”

RealClearPolitics and The Cook Political Report have this race as a tossup. CNN reported on April 11 that the race leans Republicans.

All three have decided this even though polls have shown Bredesen leading Blackburn.


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