NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — A new poll indicates that a majority of Tennessee voters support criminal justice reform and abortion being legal under some circumstances.
With abortion back in the national conversation after a draft Supreme Court opinion was leaked that suggests the court may overturn Roe v. Wade, a Vanderbilt University poll of Tennessee voters showed 80% were in favor of abortion being either completely legal or legal under certain conditions, such as rape, incest, or when the mother’s health is at risk. Only 17% supported making abortion illegal in all cases.
The poll also shows that Gov. Bill Lee continues to enjoy majority support among voters in Tennessee ahead of the upcoming state primary and general elections. Lee earned a 56% approval rating among registered voters in the state. While that is similar to results from a December 2021 poll, it is down nine points from May 2021. Among Republicans, 80% said they would re-elect Lee compared to just 7% of Democrats.
Lee will run unopposed in the Republican primary this August. He will face three Democrats and several independent candidates in the November general election.
The poll results also indicate declining support for President Joe Biden in the Volunteer State. Among Democrats, 79% approved of Biden’s performance, down from 92% last year. Among all poll participants, only 31% had a positive view of the president’s performance and just 25% said they hope Biden runs for re-election.
Meanwhile, 38% of those polled said they want Donald Trump to run for president in 2024, down from 44% last December.
With inflation rising, only 27% felt the U.S. economy was in good shape, down from the 47% last year who said the economy was “very good” or “fairly good.” However, Tennesseans have a more favorable view of the state’s economy, with 64% responding the Volunteer State’s economy was “very good” or “fairly good.”
The poll also showed majority support for criminal justice reform, with 70% saying the criminal justice system needs “a complete overhaul” or “major changes” nationally and in Tennessee.
The Vanderbilt poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters in Tennessee and was conducted between April 26 and May 14. It has a margin of error plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.