NBC EXCLUSIVE: High interest, many undecided In Gov. primary - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Decision 2010

NBC EXCLUSIVE: High interest, many undecided In Gov. primary

NBC Nashville News Poll Shows Haslam In The Lead For Republican Nomination

NASHVILLE (NBC) - A new poll shows high interest, and a large number of undecided voters, for Tennessee's upcoming Gubernatorial primary.

The exclusive WSMV-TV, the NBC affiliate in Nashville, news poll found that 89 percent of those surveyed were likely to vote in the primary. But only a week before early voting, the number of likely voters who called themselves "undecided" was larger than the number who named any one candidate.

Among those voters who did support a candidate, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam currently holds the lead for the Republican nomination. 32 percent of respondents said they intend to vote for Haslam. 21 percent of those surveyed said they plan to vote for Congressman Zach Wamp. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey was the choice among 11 percent of respondents. A larger number, 36 percent of those surveyed, said they were still undecided.

The telephone survey involved a random sample of 603 registered Tennessee voters. It was conducted earlier this week by the research firm Crawford, Johnson and Northcott. The margin of error is +/- 4%

Both Democrats and Republicans were polled because Tennessee allows voters of any affiliation to participate in one primary. Mike McWherter is the lone Democrat in the race.

Regardless of their intention to vote in the primary election, every respondent was asked who they would be most likely to choose in a general election match-up with Democrat Mike McWherter.

-In a Haslam-McWherter match-up, 60 percent of respondents chose Haslam, with 34 percent choosing McWherter and 6 percent undecided.

-In a Wamp-McWherter race, 59 percent of those surveyed chose Wamp, compared to 35 percent for McWherter and 6 percent undecided.

-In a Ramsey-McWherter race, 51 percent of those polled chose Ramsey, with 41 percent choosing McWherter, and 8 percent undecided.

In context, those numbers could reflect the fact that the Republican candidates have so far campaigned far more visibly than the Democrat, who is unopposed in the primary.

Nearly nine in ten voters polled said they were like to vote in the primary election. 73 percent said they were very likely, 16 percent said they were somewhat likely. 7 percent described themselves as not very likely, and 5 percent said they did not intend to vote.

The Republican primary is drawing some attention among some Democrats and many independents. Of Democrats polled, nearly one in ten indicated they intend to vote in the Republican primary. Among independents, 63 percent said they'll vote in the Republican primary.

Friday, find out which issues are motivating voters choose their candidate.

Check out the full poll results below:


In the race for Tennessee Governor, how likely are you to vote in the primary election on August 5th?

Very likely 73%
Somewhat likely 16%
Not very likely 7%
Do not intend to vote in the primary 5%

If you do vote, and since you can vote in only one party's primary election, which one will you vote in?

Republican primary 64%
Democratic primary 36%

Which one of these candidates do you intend to vote for in the Republican primary?
Undecided 36%
Bill Haslam 32%
Zach Wamp 21%
Ronald Ramsey 11%

Regardless of their intention to vote in the primary election, every respondent was asked who they would be most likely to vote for in the general election.

Given these different match-ups, who would you most likely vote for in November to become Tennessee's governor?

Matchup #1
Haslam 60%
McWherter 34%
Undecided 6%

Matchup #2
Ramsey 51%
McWherter 41%
Undecided 8%

Matchup #3
Wamp 59%
McWherter 35%
Undecided 6%

Do you generally consider yourself to be a:
Republican 42%
Democrat 29%
Independent 29%

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