GOP poll: Republican up 9 in Tennessee Senate race

GOP poll: Republican up 9 in Tennessee Senate race
© Greg Nash

A pro-Trump super PAC released a poll Wednesday that found the leading Republican candidate ahead of the likely Democratic nominee by 9 points in Tennessee’s Senate race.

The Committee to Defend the President commissioned a poll that showed Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnElection Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas Senate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Lawmakers split over how to expand rural broadband MORE (R-Tenn.) leading former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D), 43 to 34 percent. Twenty-three percent of voters polled are undecided.

The poll was conducted from Dec. 13-17 and surveyed 500 likely general election voters and 400 GOP primary voters. The margin of error was 4.4 percentage points and 4.9 percentage points, respectively.

Blackburn is seen as the early front-runner in the GOP primary and has earned an endorsement from former White House chief strategist and Breitbart News head Stephen Bannon.

But she’ll first need to clear a crowded primary, which also features former Rep. Stephen FincherStephen Lee FincherTensions on immigration erupt in the House GOP Trump backs Blackburn's Tennessee Senate bid Corker backs Blackburn for Senate seat after retirement tensions MORE. The poll found her overwhelming leading Fincher by 49 points. The other GOP candidates in the race polled at 5 percent or below.

Meanwhile, a poll commissioned in late October by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, was also released on Wednesday.

The poll found Bredesen leading Blackburn by 5 points, 46 to 41 percent, according to The Tennessean. Thirteen percent of respondents were undecided.

The DSCC’s poll was conducted more than a month before Bredesen formally entered the race. The survey was conducted from Oct. 20-22 and surveyed 601 likely voters. The breakdown of voters were 42 percent Republicans, 29 percent Democrats and 25 percent independents. The margin of error was 4.1 percentage points.

Bredesen leads Blackburn in a head-to-head race among independent voters, 48 to 31 percent.

The DSCC’s poll also found that 48 percent of respondents viewed Trump favorably, while 42 percent viewed him negatively.

Democrats haven’t won a Senate seat in Tennessee in nearly 30 years, but they feel increasingly emboldened by the current political climate and Bredesen’s position as a popular former governor.

Bredesen easily won reelection to the governor’s mansion in 2006, but he hasn’t campaigned in more than a decade.