JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A new poll shows Republican U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn leads Democratic state Rep. Gloria Johnson by 24% with over a year to go before the election for one of Tennessee’s Senate seats.
The Emerson College poll found that half of voters support Blackburn while 26% support Johnson and 25% support someone else or are undecided.
“Representative Johnson’s support is highest among Black Tennessee voters, at 56%, while 11% support Senator Blackburn among this group,” said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling. “Among white voters, 60% support Blackburn and 19% Johnson.”
“Blackburn holds the support of all educational demographics except for postgraduates, who are split: 46% support Johnson and 45% Blackburn.”
Johnson announced her bid to unseat Blackburn in September. She gained national attention when Republican state lawmakers attempted to expel her and Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones — dubbed the “Tennessee Three” — for participating in a gun control demonstration on the House floor. Johnson, who is white, narrowly avoided expulsion but Pearson and Jones, who are both Black, were ousted. Both were quickly reappointed, then re-elected.
Blackburn is seeking a second term representing ruby-red Tennessee in the Senate. She defeated former Democratic Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen by a nearly 11-point margin in the 2018 election.
The Emerson poll did not ask voters about Marquita Bradshaw, who is seeking the Democratic nomination along with Johnson.
Other Poll Results
The poll also gauged Tennesseeans’ feelings towards other elected officials, including Gov. Bill Lee. According to the poll results, Lee holds a 35% approval rating among Tennessee residents. Of those polled, 25% disapproved of the job he is doing while 41% said they were neutral.
Meanwhile, 20% of Tennesseans approve of the job President Joe Biden is doing while 61% disapprove and 18% are neutral, according to the poll.
Tennessee voters also heavily favor former President Donald Trump over Biden in a hypothetical 2024 rematch, with 55% of participants supporting Trump and 22% supporting Biden.
The poll found that many Trump and Biden supporters in Tennessee aren’t likely to be swayed in the near future. Of Trump supporters polled, 50% said they could not think of anything that Trump could do or say over the next several months that would make them drop their support while 49% of Biden supporters said the same.
Regarding the 2020 election, 40% of Tennesseeans believe Biden stole the election while 39% believe he won fair and square, according to the poll.
The poll of 452 Tennessee residents was conducted Oct. 1–4 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.8%.