Marsha Blackburn

Fox News poll has Blackburn leading Bredesen by 3

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Republican Senate nominee in Tennessee, speaks at a Farm Bureau event in Franklin on Aug. 9, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Marsha Blackburn has a 3 percentage point edge over Democrat Phil Bredesen in a new Fox News poll released Wednesday. The survey results follow an NBC/Marist poll that found Bredesen with a 2-point lead last week. Both polls receive A ratings from the polling website FiveThirtyEight.

In the Fox poll, Blackburn had 47% support, compared with Bredesen’s 44%. The poll of  686 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The poll showed Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee with a 20-point lead over Democrat Karl Dean, 55%-35%, with 16% of Bredesen supporters crossing over to support Lee.

Eighty-one percent of Bredesen’s supporters said they feel certain they will vote for him, while 74% of Blackburn’s supporters said the same for her. Twenty percent said they might change their vote before November, while 8% were undecided.

Among those who said they support President Trump, 76% said they support Blackburn, while 16% support Bredesen. The former governor was supported by 93% of Democrats polled, while 83% of Republicans said they plan to vote for Blackburn.

According to the poll, the top issues for voters are:

  • Economy and jobs: 29%.
  • Health care: 27%.
  • Immigration: 14%
  • Taxes: 8%
  • Gun policy: 6%
  • Foreign Policy: 3%
  • International trade: 1%

Popularity ratings were similar for both candidates the Fox poll, with 54% having a favorable impression of Bredesen and 36% seeing him unfavorably. Blackburn’s favs/unfavs were 51%-39%.

President Trump had a 58% approval rating among likely voters, while 38% disapproved.

Thirty-nine percent of those polled said they think Trump’s trade policies are helping the U.S. economy, while 37% said they are hurting.

NBC/Marist poll has Bredesen leading Blackburn by 2 points

Former Gov. Phil Bredesen speaks at a forum on business issues in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018 (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

A new NBC/Marist poll in the Tennessee Senate race has Democrat Phil Bredesen leading Republican Marsha Blackburn by 2 percentage points among likely voters, and 4 points among registered voters. Both are within the poll’s margin of error.

The poll found the governor’s race is far less competitive: Republican Bill Lee was leading Democrat Karl Dean 53%-40% .

Among likely voters, Bredesen was up 48-46, with 5% undecided.  Bredesen’s margin was 48-44 among registered voters.

Bredesen has near unanimous support among Democrats (97%-0%),  compared with Blackburn, who had an 86%-9% advantage among Republicans. Indepedents were leaning toward Bredesen 49%-45%.

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Blackburn ad reminds voters of Trump support

In case you forgot, President Donald Trump is supporting Republican Marsha Blackburn in this year’s U.S. Senate race in Tennessee. She has a new ad to prove the point.

The spot rehashes comments Trump made at a rally for Blackburn in Nashville earlier this year: “Phil, whatever the hell his name is, this guy will 100 percent vote against us every single time.”

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Blackburn agrees to second debate

A release from Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn’s campaign:

Brentwood, TN –  Today, Marsha Blackburn announced she will participate in the October 10th debate hosted by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and Nexstar Media Group, including WKRN (Nashville), WATE (Knoxville), WATN (Memphis), WJHL (Tri Cities), and WJKT (Jackson) as part of the campaign’s debate schedule.

“From immigration to taxes, Phil Bredesen and I have serious policy differences that will drastically affect how Tennesseans are represented in the United States Senate,” said Marsha Blackburn. “I look forward to highlighting our significant policy differences at this debate, and I am grateful for the event’s organizers and volunteers, who have worked to put it together.”

On Monday, Blackburn announced she will participate in the September 25th debate hosted by the Tennessean, the League of Women Voters of Tennessee, News Channel 5 (WTVF), Nashville Public Television, and Cumberland University as part of the campaign’s debate schedule.

UPDATE: Reaction from Democrat Phil Bredesen spokeswoman Alyssa Hansen:

“The contrast between the candidates will be on display — Tennesseans have a choice between an 8-term Congresswoman who’s part of the Washington way or a Governor with a proven track-record of getting things done for Tennessee. Memphis is just as important as the rest of the state, and we hope that Congressman Blackburn feels the same way and reconsiders.”

Koch network launches ad targeting Bredesen

The Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the conservative Koch network, has launched its first attack on Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, taking him to task for supporting various tax increases and for the gall to have once spearheaded renovations and upgrades at the governor’s mansion. See the ad here.

The ad says Bredesen “wasted $9 million” on the mansion while the economy was in a tailspin and rehashes an old refrain against what the spot dubs a “party cave.” Contemporary attacks on the underground entertainment complex decried it as the “Bredesen Bunker,” but they never resonated much beyond conservative neighbors like Lee Beaman. It remains to be seen whether bringing the issue up again nearly a decade later will have more success.

The Bredesen campaign has responded with a video of its own in which the candidate says: “Well, the attacks have started and now you have to make sense of it all.”

The Bredesen campaign noted that Bredesen balanced eight budgets without an income tax when he was governor. “He also worked diligently with the legislature to raise the tobacco tax to fund education and to close corporate tax loopholes that were siphoning resources away from public safety, health care, education, and other priorities,” the campaign said in a release.

Blackburn takes aim at Bredesen over immigration

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a business forum in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018 (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn is taking aim at Democratic opponent Phil Bredesen in an an opinion piece published on the website of The Hill newspaper in Washington.

“As governor, Phil Bredesen adopted policies that encouraged illegal immigration,” Blackburn writes in the piece, citing his support for a driver certificate program for people in the country illegally in 2004. What she doesn’t mention is that Bredesen introduced the measure to dial back a full driver’s license program that had been championed by his Republican predecessor, Don Sundquist, who is now a Blackburn supporter. Blackburn herself had voted against the driver’s licenses bill, but had left for Congress by the time certificate measure was introduced.

The bill creating the certificates (which carried prominent markings that they were meant only for driving and “not valid for identification”) passed the Senate on a 32-0 vote and the House 96-2, meaning it had nearly full GOP support (including from Senate Speaker Randy McNally, former Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, Knox County mayor and GOP congressional nominee Tim Burchett, former state Sen. Mae Beavers, state House Majority Leader Glen Casada, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, and Family Action Council of Tennessee President David Fowler.)

The driver certificate program was abandoned two years later after federal investigators uncovered a burgeoning black market for them.

Blackburn wrote in the opinion piece that she opposed the measures because they “openly rewarded illegal immigration and undermined the hard work of those who entered our country lawfully. Moreover, it made Tennessee a magnet for illegal immigrants.”

It’s not surprising that Phil Bredesen also opposes securing the southern border. He’s spoken out against the wall, saying that it’s just political theater. He says he’s tired of ‘nibbling around the edges’ and wants to get back to big projects. What better way to start than by building the wall. Securing our border isn’t political theater; it’s enforcing the laws of a sovereign nation, and it’s a vital step to keep Americans safe. — Blackburn in The Hill

 

George Will on TN Senate race: ‘Pistol-packing Republican vs. oatmeal Democrat’

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn speaks at a forum on business issues in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Washington Post columnist George Will was in Nashville last week to take in a Senate forum hosted by the Tennessee Business Roundtable, NFIB, and state Chamber of Commerce. His assessment of the race featuring Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen is summed up as “Pistol-packing Republican vs. oatmeal Democrat.”

Here are some of his observations about Blackburn:

Pistol-packing Blackburn — a Smith & Wesson .38 is her preferred accoutrement — in 2009 co-sponsored a bill that would have required presidential candidates to prove they are “natural born” citizens, a propitiation of “birthers.” She promises to be a Trump stalwart, which is dandy if you think that congressional Republicans are insufficiently servile.

And this is what Will has to say about Bredesen:

If you asked central casting to find a Democrat with a contrasting political temperament, you would get Phil Bredesen. He is as exciting as oatmeal, which is said to be better for us than bacon. … A former two-term mayor of this city and former two-term governor, he is experienced in politics as well as governance, so he stresses local worries (e.g., protecting Tennessee waters from Asian carp) more than national Democrats’ current ideological flights of fancy (e.g., rehabilitating socialism’s reputation).

Former Gov. Phil Bredesen speaks at a forum on business issues in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Read the full column here: http://www.dailyindependent.com/opinion/pistol-packing-republican-vs-oatmeal-democrat/article_c627529a-a57c-11e8-afa7-9310a927479f.html

New Blackburn ad touts role in fighting prostitution website

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn’s latest ad touts her role in fighting the thinly-veiled prostitution website Backpage.com.

“Backpage.com operated in over 97 countries. Billions of dollars, trafficking human beings, even our children,” Blackburn says in the ad, her third of the Senate race so far. “It’s sick, it’s immoral, and it’s why I fought to shut them down. Human trafficking is a tragedy that must be stopped.” 

Backpage.com’s website was seized by the FBI in April and its CEO pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against other website officials charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering. a 93-count indictment alleges that teenage girls were sold for sex on the site. President Donald Trump in this year signed a bill dubbed “FOTSA,” or the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. The bill passed the House 388-25 (Blackburn was one of 174 co-sponsors).

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U.S. Chamber endorses Blackburn

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a forum hosted by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce at Lipscomb University in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn has received the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Marsha has a strong record of supporting pro-business policies that help create jobs and grow our economy,” Rob Engstrom, senior vice president and national political director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a release. “In Congress, she has worked to cut unnecessary regulations and create an economic climate that allows businesses to thrive.”

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PAC running ads promoting Blackburn

The Senate Leadership Fund is now running television ads in support of Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn. The ad features footage of President Donald Trump endorsing Blackburn at a rally in Nashville in May.