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NASHVILLE - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, a Republican, has an almost two-to-one lead over West Tennessee Democrat Mike McWherter in Tennessee's gubernatorial contest, according to an independent poll released today.

The new Rasmussen Reports automated telephone survey of likely voters shows 59 percent of voters supporting Haslam while McWherter, the son of former Gov. Ned McWherter, picked up only 31 percent.

Two percent prefer another candidate, and just seven percent are undecided. Rasmussen says the contest remains "Solid Republican" with early voting beginning Wednesday.

The survey of 500 likely voters was conducted Oct. 7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence, according to Rasmussen Reports.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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