NASHVILLE - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam leads Republican gubernatorial rival Zach Wamp by 13 points, according to a Haslam for governor campaign survey done June 1 to June 3.
The survey of 600 likely Republican voters showed Mayor Haslam leading Congressman Wamp by 37 percent to 24 percent. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey trailed in third place with 15 percent, according to the poll, conducted by Haslam pollsters Ayres, McHenry & Associates.
Twenty-four percent of Republicans said they were undecided.
In his polling memo, pollster Whit Ayres said Mayor Haslam has almost tripled his support from the first of February from 13 percent to 37 percent.
"On the other hand," Mr. Ayres said, "Zach Wamp is in exactly the same place he was at the first of March, and Ron Ramsey is at essentially the same place he was at the first of February."
The poll says Mr. Haslam now leads in all three grand divisions in East, Middle and West Tennessee. Mr. Ayres' memo says that in East Tennessee, "despite Zach Wamp's strong base in his 3rd Congressional District, Haslam leads with 39 percent to 32 percent for Wamp, 13 percent for Ramsey, and 16 percent undecided."
He notes East Tennessee provides almost half the votes in a Republican primary.
In the West Mayor Haslam leads by 35 percent to 18 percent for Congressman Wamp and 11 percent for Lt. Gov. Ramsey. Thirty-six percent are undecided.
In Middle Tennessee, the polling memo says, Mr. Haslam leads by 36 percent to 21 percent for Lt. Gov. Ramsey and 16 percent for Congressman Wamp. Twenty-seven percent were undecided.
"With no runoff in Tennessee's primary elections, these trends put Bill Haslam in an excellent position to win the Republican nomination for governor on August 5," the polling memo says.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.