In U.S. Senate bid, Blackburn nets endorsements, touts new poll


U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn will run for the U.S. Senate. The Brentwood Republican’s announcement comes days after U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he will not seek a third term.(Photo: George Walker IV / File / U.S. Sen. Bob Corker continues to mull a potential bid for a third term, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn is charging ahead, netting new endorsements in her bid for his seat while touting a poll with positive results for her campaign. On Wednesday, Blackburn secured endorsements from 18 Republican state Senators.CLOSE
Here is a list of who may replace Bob Corker’s seat in the U.S. Senate.
The group of includes:Sen. Paul Bailey, SpartaSen. Mike Bell, Riceville Sen. Janice Bowling, TullahomaSen. Rusty Crowe Johnson CitySen. Mark Green, ClarksvilleSen. Dolores Gresham, SomervilleSen. Ferrell Haile, GallatinSen. Joey Hensley, HohenwaldSen. Jack Johnson, FranklinSen. Brian Kelsey, GermantownSen. Bill Ketron, MurfreesboroSen. Jon Lundberg, BristolSen. Becky Duncan Massey, KnoxvilleSen. Frank Niceley, Strawberry PlainsSen. Mark Pody, LebanonSen. Kerry Roberts, SpringfieldSen. John Stevens, HuntingdonSen. Ken Yager, KingstonAmong the Senate Republicans to not endorse Blackburn on Wednesday are Lt. Gov. Randy McNally of Oak Ridge and Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville. In a statement, Blackburn said the endorsements were an honor. “These leaders are dedicated public servants, and I am grateful for their advice, friendship, and continued support. I look forward to working with them to serve Tennesseans in the U.S. Senate,” she said.Several of the endorsements hardly came as a surprise. In recent days, a smattering of state lawmakers have expressed their support for Blackburn now that former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher is no longer in the race. More: Stephen Fincher halts U.S. Senate bid, encourages Corker to seek re-electionLast week, Fincher dropped out while encouraging Corker to seek re-election. The call came amid concern among some Republicans about Blackburn’s prospects should she face former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in the general election. In an effort to tamp down such concerns, political organizations supporting Blackburn’s bid for U.S. Senate have surveyed Tennesseans for their views on the Brentwood congressman and Corker. United States Senator Bob Corker speaks during the Google data center groundbreaking in Clarksville on February 16, 2018. (Photo: Erica Brechtelsbauer/The Leaf-Chronicle)The results of a new poll, released Tuesday, found 48 percent of likely Republican primary voters would back Blackburn while 29 percent supported Corker. Such findings match up with another recent poll that found Blackburn with a 2-to-1 advantage over Corker among GOP primary voters. More: Poll: Marsha Blackburn holds major lead among GOP voters in matchup against Bob CorkerThe latest poll, which was conducted Feb. 14 to Feb. 19, found 48 percent of respondents had a positive view of Blackburn. Corker’s favorability was at 40 percent. Conversely, 41 percent of those surveyed had a negative view of Corker compared to 17 percent for Blackburn.The poll, which did not include questions about Bredesen, also found Blackburn had significant work ahead in terms of name recognition. As many as 16 percent of respondents said they never heard of her while 20 percent said they had no opinion. Former Gov. Phil Bredesen speaks at a ceremony in Chattanooga, Tenn. Oct. 29, 2015. (Photo: Erik Schelzig / AP Photo)The poll was was commissioned by Iowa-based American Future Fund Political Action and conducted by Ranger Research Partners. The poll queried 926 likely Republican primary voters throughout the state and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent. Blackburn’s campaign, which sent out a statement Tuesday, lauded the results. But other polls have shown a tight race between Blackburn and Bredesen in a potential general election matchup, something that is likely fueling the push by some establishment Republicans for Corker to run again.One such poll, by Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies, a prominent Republican pollster, showed Bredesen beating Blackburn 47 percent to 45 percent. That means the race is statistically a dead heat, based on that one sample. Blackburn is expected to appear at a political event in Williamson County on Friday. Corker is not expected to attend the event. Reach Joel Ebert at or 615-772-1681 and on Twitter @joelebert29. Read or Share this story:



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