Jul 20 2006
12:45 am

Looks like it's Corker's race to lose (if Corker's internal polling is worth what he presumably paid for it):

The Bob Corker for Senate campaign on Tuesday released a survey of 600 likely Republican voters that showed Bob Corker with 46% of the vote, Ed Bryant 24% and Van Hilleary 17%.

The poll was completed this past Thursday, the evening before early voting began, Corker officials said.

The poll of 600 likely Republican primary voters was conducted by Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies on July 10-11, 13. The margin of error is +/- 4.0%.

The remaining 13% were undecided.

I heard about this poll on the radio this morning. Apparently the timing of the new Corker campaign ad buy (going negative on his opponents) is meant to narrow up that undecided gap a trifle.


Per the Tennessean, Corker is enjoying his moment in the sun:

The limelight on 53-year-old Robert Phillip Corker Jr. in this year's U.S. Senate primary is a far cry from the obscurity of a failed 1994 Senate bid, Corker said.

Twelve years ago, Corker was eclipsed by the star power of other Republican candidates, such as Fred Thompson, Bill Frist and Don Sundquist, he said.

"The rest of us hung around the back of the room and shook hands with people as they left," Corker said, as his black Chevrolet Tahoe, which he is using as his campaign vehicle, rumbled from one campaign spot to another where he was the main event earlier this month.

Corker's star has risen considerably since those days, and, if his polls are right, he appears poised to win the Republican nomination Aug. 3 to face Democrat Harold Ford Jr. His rivals, Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary, have spent much of the campaign trying to tag Corker as a liberal.

"The truth is, the best thing that ever happened to me was losing the race in 1994," Corker said in an interview during a day of campaigning and fundraising in northeast Tennessee. "I'm far more prepared."

(Not to mention that it helps Corker tremendously that Hilleary and Bryant have been splitting the vote among "movement" conservatives between themselves.)

Anyway. Perhaps that feeling of preparedness will last a few days into general election season, should he emerge. It's gonna get bloody before then. I can only imagine the tenor of events once Frist's VOLPAC and the NRSC start dumping their reserves into the general election fund.

Number9's picture

What gives?

The poll at Michael Silence's blog shows very different results with Bryant at 41%, Ford at 39%, and Corkbat Corker at 12%. What gives?

Andy Axel's picture

Uh, that poll has Ford in

Uh, that poll has Ford in the race?

The Corker-sponsored poll was primary-only. Ford wasn't in the pic.


"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

Old Hickory's picture

Last Person Elected Statewide from Chattanooga

Bill Brock - United States Senate 1972-1978

Last person from Knoxville elected to statewide office:

William Blount - Governor of Tennessee - 1798

tennesseevaluesauthority's picture

Tennessee history

William Blount was never elected to the governorship of Tennessee. He was appointed governor of the Territory South of the River Ohio in 1791.

Since Knoxville was the capitol of the territory and the new state, several of the early elected governors had Knoxville/Knox County residences at some time in their lives, including John Sevier (1796-1801, 1803-1809), Archibald Roane (1801-1803), and William Blount's half-brother Willie Blount (1809-1815). Robert Love Taylor was a downtown Knoxville resident (Summer Avenue) when he defeated his brother for election to the governor's seat in 1887. "Our Bob" may have been the last downtown Knoxville resident to be elected to statewide office. Along the way, there have been more than a few others serving in the governor's seat who called Knoxville home in their personal and/or professional lives.

Many of the past U.S. Senators who represented Tennessee had Knoxville residences, also, at some point in their life (usually while practicing law) and several of these had Knoxville residences at the time of their appointment or election to the U.S. Senate. (Remembering, of course, that U.S. Senators were originally not elected by the people, but rather appointed by their state legislature until the ratification of the 17th amendment in 1913 and in effect for the 1914 elections-- a horrible mistake in many ways, but I digress...)

Notable Knoxvillians who served the state as U.S. Senators include, but are not limited to, the previously named William Blount (1796-1797), John Williams (1815-1823), Hugh Lawson White (1825-1840), William Gannaway Brownlow (1869-1875), Robert Love Taylor (1907-1912), John Knight Shields (1913-1925), and Lawrence Davis Tyson (1925-1929). Tyson may have been the last full-time Knoxville resident to serve in the U.S. Senate (ignoring, if you must, the major role Knoxville played in the life and career of such folks as Howard Baker, Jr., and Lamar Alexander to name a few more recent characters in our political theater), but I may be wrong.

Hugh Lawson White is, I believe, the only Knoxville resident to ever receive electoral votes for election to the presidency.

This is all apropos of nothing, but I felt compelled to clarify part of Old Hickory's insinuation that Knoxvillians hadn't been seen on the statewide political stage in more than two centuries. Granted, I can't think of very many Knoxvillians of recent vintage who deserve election to statewide office. So, there you go.

Old Hickory's picture

Lost My Tennessee Blue Book

Like I said, none of the fellows mentioned was from Knoxville, like Howard Baker is from Huntsville and Lamar Alexander is from Maryville.

Alex Haley had a home in Knoxville, Alex Haley was from Henning, Tennessee.

Chris Whittle had a home in Knoxville, Chris Whittle was from Monroe County, Tennessee.

Archie Campbell had a home in Knoxville, Archie Campbell was from Bulls Gap, Tennessee.

Roy Acuff had a home in Knoxville, Roy Acuff was from Maynardville.

Victor Ashe is from Knoxville and his statewide campaign is a model for how not to run a major statewide campaign.

Given the circus currently unfolding in Knox County local politics, it is very easy to see why local elected officeholders from Knoxville and Knox County do not play well on the statewide stage.

R. Neal's picture

Plus, Corker's poll was

Plus, Corker's poll was "scientific", not some internets tube deal.

Number9's picture

Uh, that poll has Ford in

Uh, that poll has Ford in the race?

It does now.


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