published Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Poll: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's job approval takes dive

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The latest Middle Tennessee State University poll released Monday shows Gov. Bill Haslam’s job approval has dropped since last spring.

The poll shows the Republican governor slid from 61 percent in the last poll rating to 47 percent.

Poll director Ken Blake said the decrease occurred primarily among the state’s Democrats and political independents.

Approval among Democrats fell from 52 percent to 42 percent, while independents dropped from 69 percent to 41 percent.

Democrats have heavily criticized the governor for declining $1.4 billion in federal funds to cover about 140,000 uninsured Tennesseans under the terms that the money was offered by the federal government.

“One possibility is that Democrats, having been briefly impressed with some of the governor’s moderate positions during the last legislative session, are asking what he has done for them lately,” Blake said. “Meanwhile, some independents share that view, while other independents just haven’t been paying much attention to the governor recently.”

Among the governor’s fellow Republicans, approval came in at 68 percent, statistically the same as the 67 percent among the GOP last spring.

The poll conducted last month surveyed 600 Tennessee adult residents. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

In December, a Vanderbilt University poll of 800 randomly selected registered voters showed Haslam’s job approval rating was 61 percent. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

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