NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A recent poll shows Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has strong bipartisan support among Tennessee voters.
The Middle Tennessee State University poll shows Haslam has a 76 percent approval rating among independents heading into the third year of his term, 75 percent of Republicans like what he's doing, and 54 percent of Democrats approve.
More than two in three voters, or 68 percent, say they approve of the way Haslam is handling his job as governor. Fourteen percent disapprove, and 16 percent say they don't know.
Jason Reineke, the poll's associate director, said Haslam's numbers are impressive "considering the partisan climate regarding national politics."
Poll director Ken Blake said the governor's high bipartisan support is similar to that of his predecessor, Gov. Phil Bredesen.
"Both men have tended to govern from the political center while steering clear of hot-button social issues," Blake said.
The recent poll showed Haslam was less popular with African-American voters. Forty-seven percent expressed approval of his job performance, compared to 22 percent who expressed disapproval, and 31 percent who said they weren't sure.
The poll conducted last month surveyed 650 registered voters. It has an error margin of plus or minus four percentage points.