Well, this is interesting. Barack Obama is pretty much tied with Mitt Romney in TENNESSEE, according to a Vanderbilt University poll.
Photo: Vanderbilt University
Less than one percentage point currently separates Obama and Romney. Calling Tennessee a traditionally red state, especially recently, is probably an understatement. Republicans have won there in the last two presidential elections by at least 14 points.
The last time Tennessee voted Democrat was for Arkansas’ Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. Before that? 1976.
John Geer, a political science professor at Vanderbilt, told The Tennesseean, though, that a better measure of the poll is probably in the 7-point split among registered voters. He doesn’t expect Tennessee to be trouble for Romney.
“It’s not that close a race,” Geer said, predicting Romney would prevail with little trouble. “I suspect a lot of hard-core conservatives are still getting used to the idea of Romney as the nominee, and by the time the general election comes along, they’ll be in lock step with Romney. But right now there’s a small chunk that are still being cautious.”
That said, the fact that Tennessee has apparently gone from 15-point McCain strangehold in 2004 to even 7 points has to be a bit concerning. And you can believe that the Obama campaign will put some focus into registering voters in Tennessee.
Republicans dismissed the poll, but here’s another sign they need to get things in order: Tennesseeans do not like Mitt Romney. In fact, when you look at the margin of approval-to-disapproval rating, Romney is even worse than Obama. The margin stands around minus-11 for Romney, compared with about minus-8 for Obama.
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