Bob Corker: The 41% Republican.
A few weeks ago, the Tennessee Star commissioned a statewide poll of Republican primary voters. In that poll, Corker’s re-elect was 41% among voters of his own party. The head-to-head matchup between Corker and Cong. Marsha Blackburn was even more revealing. Despite Corker’s 10 years in the Senate and superior statewide name ID, Blackburn was in a statistical dead-heat with Corker. With each getting about 41% of the vote.
Some critics tried to dismiss the poll as an anomaly, trying to pick at its methodology. But the crew here at Rocky Top took time from our three-week summer siestas and consumption of mass quantities of cold beer on Watts Bar Lake to use our collective expertise to analyze the poll. We found its methodology and conclusion compelling and convincing. Still, those trying to whistle past the electoral graveyard repeatedly referred to it as “just one poll” conducted “by some conservative group.”
Then last week the fuzz-head academics at MTSU (definitely not a hot-bed of conservatives) did a poll, focusing on the question of “trust.” And the Republican breakouts of the poll had a couple of startling findings. For one, President Trump was “more trusted” (77%) than Gov. Bill Haslam (58%). Heh. But when Republicans were asked about their level of trust for Sen. Corker, the results were a confirmation of the Tennessee Star poll.
Corker received only a 40% trust rating in the MTSU poll, with only 8% of Republicans saying they “completely trust” Corker. After 10 years, a committee chairmanship, rumors of higher office, etc. Corker can only muster a minority of 40% of Republicans — the almost exact same level for re-electing Corker (41%) the Tennessee Star found in its poll.
- 41% re-elect among Republicans.
- 41% against a credible primary opponent .
- 40% trust rating among Republicans.
Any (credible) person looking for a reason to run successfully against an incumbent senator now has a clear opportunity. Three separate data points on Corker electoral weakness now exist — if a challenger has the sense or the gumption to connect the dots.
And Bob Corker has a big (41%) problem.