published Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Lamar Alexander poll says senator still holds big lead over Joe Carr

NASHVILLE -- New polling released by Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander's reelection campaign show the the Tennessee Republican holding a better than 3-to-1 lead over his GOP primary opponent, state Rep. Joe Carr.

"This campaign looks essentially the same today as it did last August," said Alexander's long-time pollster, Whit Ayres of North Star Opinion Research in the polling memo. "Given Senator Alexander's universal name recognition, it will be very difficult for his opponents to move these numbers."

Alexander "remains in a very strong position to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate," Ayres says in the memo.

The Feb. 3-6 survey involved 600 likely GOP primary voters drawn from previous Republican primaries and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

According to Ayres' polling memo, the survey shows Alexander stands at 62 percent in a head-to-head ballot test with Carr. Seventeen percent said they favored Carr, who has support from a number of Tea Party groups. Two percent said they supported Brenda Lenard and 1 percent backed Danny Page. Eighteen percent were undecided.

The memo says Alexander led Carr "overwhelmingly" among key GOP subgroups with 69 percent of evangelical Christians supporting Alexander compared to 14 percent for Carr. Very conservative voters favored Alexander over Carr by a narrower margin -- 53 to 23 percent, according to the survey.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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