Two new polls show Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn cementing her lead in her race for the Senate seat against Democrat former governor Phil Bredesen.
A new NBC/Marist poll, conducted between October 23 and October 27, shows Blackburn garnering 51% of likely voters, compared with 46% for Bredesen. Another poll, from Vox Populi Polling, conducted between October 27 and October 29, shows Blackburn grabbing 53% of the vote to Bredesen’s 47%.
As The Tennessean points out, “Blackburn's lead coincides with soaring popularity for President Donald Trump, who now has support of 56 percent of likely voters in the NBC/Marist poll, compared with 39 percent who don't support his job performance. That's compared with 47 percent who approved of the president and 43 percent who disagreed with him two months ago.”
Blackburn has reversed the candidates’ status; an August NBC/Marist poll found Bredesen with a two-point lead; a Vox Populi poll conducted in September also showed Bredesen leading by 2 percentage points.
An NBC/Marist analysis stated, "The shift in Blackburn's favor may be a dose of political reality for Bredesen in Tennessee, where President Donald Trump won by 26 points in 2016. The poll's sample shows that 43 percent of likely voters identify as Republicans, while just 27 percent identify as Democrats."
As The Tennessean notes, “Fifty-two percent of respondents in the NBC poll said they view Bredesen favorably compared with 39 percent who do not. That's a 13-point difference between favorable and unfavorable marks, down from a 39-point spread in the previous poll. But in the Vox Populi poll, Blackburn now has higher favorability than Bredesen, 45 percent to 41 percent."
Macy Cambio, Vox Populi Polling managing director, said, "In the weeks leading up to Election Day, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn has rallied Republican voters to help solidify her base. With Phil Bredesen's image now underwater and Blackburn opening up a seven-point lead, the chance of this seat flipping Democratic looks much slimmer than it did just one month ago."
Over the weekend, Blackburn held a rally at which a moment of silence was held for the victims of the Pittsburgh massacre. Protesters disrupted the event, including one who cried out roughly two seconds into the moment of silence, “Marsha Blackburn is a white supremacist.” Five protesters were removed from the rally.
Blackburn released a statement later that read, “This Sunday afternoon, the liberal angry mob made it clear they are active in Tennessee and will stop at nothing to disrupt civil political discourse. I'm grateful to the law enforcement officers who were here today and kept everyone safe. The protestors at today's event were absolutely appalling. They yelled 'Impeach Trump.' They kicked. They punched. They resisted law enforcement, and they interrupted a moment of silence for the victims in Pittsburgh. Never in my life have I heard of people interrupting a moment of silence."
Three polls taken on October showed Blackburn with a significant lead. A Fox News poll ending October 2 found Blackburn with a five-point lead; a CBS/YouGov poll ending October 5 gave her an eight-point lead, and a NY Times/Siena college poll ending October 11 gave her a fourteen-point lead. A Vanderbilt University poll ending on October 13 found Bredesen with a one-point lead.