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Alexander Leads 56% to 32% in Tennessee Senate Race

Senator Lamar Alexander is cruising comfortably toward re-election in Tennessee where he leads his Democratic challenger Bob Tuke by 24 points in a new Rasmussen Reports survey of voters in the state.

Alexander, a Republican who is seeking a second six-year term, is ahead 56% to 32% in the first survey since Tuke won his party’s Senate nomination in an August primary (see crosstabs). Tuke is a Nashville lawyer and longtime party activist.

Ten percent (10%) of Tennessee voters remain undecided, and two percent (2%) say they are voting for some other unspecified candidate.

Tennessee has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1988.

Rasmussen Reports will release the latest numbers on the presidential race in Tennessee later today.

Sixty-five percent (65%) have at least a somewhat favorable view of Alexander, including 29% who say that view is Very Favorable. Twenty-seven percent (27%) have an unfavorable opinion of the incumbent.

Tuke is regarded favorably by 35%, with 10% saying their opinion of him is Very Favorable. Thirty-eight percent (38%) view him unfavorably.

Alexander has the support of 91% of the state’s Republicans and 18% of Democrats. Tuke is backed by 68% of Democrats and five percent (5%) of Republicans. Unaffiliated voters favor Alexander by well over two-to-one.

The incumbent leads among male voters 58% to 33% and among women 54% to 31%.

Alexander's runaway lead is good news for Republicans. A number of GOP Senate seats are at risk this fall, including in Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota and Virginia. Last week Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole fell behind for the first time in her bid for reelection in North Carolina.

The only Democrat polling below 50% is New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg. Incumbents who fall below 50% are generally viewed as potentially vulnerable.

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, gets good or excellent grades for his job performance from 57% of the state’s voters, up five percent (5%) from late August. Just 13% think he is doing a poor job, an increase of three points from the previous survey.

See survey questions and toplines. Crosstabs available for Premium Members only.

Tennessee Safe Republican

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

Ras Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Alexander (R)

62%

59%

54%

Tuke (D)

34%

33%

44%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 29, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology


Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Tennessee

 

Alexander

Tuke

Very Favorable

32%

10%

Somewhat Favorable

40%

32%

Somewhat Unfavorable

18%

17%

Very Unfavorable

7%

15%

Not Sure

4%

27%


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.