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GOP Has the Early Advantage in Tennessee Governor's Race

4 years ago
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All the potential Republican candidates for governor in Tennessee are outpolling Democratic hopefuls in the race to fill the seat of Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat who cannot seek re-election because of term limits, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted March 22.

Mayor Bill Haslam of Knoxville has leads of 20 and 18 points, respectively, over former state House Majority Leader Kim McMillan, a Democrat, and businessman Mike McWherter, a Democrat and son of former Gov. Ned McWherter.

Lt. Gov. Ronald Ramsay, a Republican who under Tennessee's system is also the Senate speaker, leads McMillan by 18 points and McWherter by 14 points.

Eight-term Rep. Zack Wamp, a Republican, leads McMillan by 13 points and McWherter by 10 points.

The undecideds in all the match-ups range from 22 percent to 25 percent.

The primaries for both parties will be held Aug. 5.

A poll by Middle Tennessee State University conducted Feb. 15-27 found almost 3 of 4 adults in the state couldn't name a single gubernatorial candidate. The candidate who was best known was Haslam -- 19 percent were able to identify him. The Rasmussen poll also found Haslam the best known. Twenty-nine percent of voters were not sure enough about him to have a favorable or unfavorable opinion, while the others ranged from 31 percent to 41 percent.

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