NASHVILLE — Nearly six out of 10 Tennessee voters say they oppose the U.S. Senate removing President Donald Trump from office, according to a new survey conducted by the Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy firm.
Fifty-nine percent of the 625 voters surveyed in the Jan. 28-Jan. 30 said they did not support convicting and removing Trump on two U.S. House articles of impeachment. Thirty-seven percent said they favored removing the president. Another 4% were undecided.
The survey has a plus or minus 4% margin of error.
The survey was released Friday after Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on Thursday night dashed Democrats' hopes that he might join them in voting to open the Senate impeachment trial of Trump to testimony from additional witnesses.
While calling Trump's dealings with Ukraine's president "inappropriate," Alexander, who is retiring next year, said in a statement that the U.S. Constitution "does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year's ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate."
He said there is "no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution's high bar for an impeachable offense."
Mason-Dixon's survey found 97% of Republicans who responded said they oppose removing Trump from office.
The ratio was higher among men (65% for to 32% against) than women (54%-41%). A near-unanimous 97% of Republicans opposed the president's removal, as did 56% of independents, and 7% of Democrats. While 87% of Democrats support removal, 56% of independents were opposed.
Seventy-two percent of white voters opposed removal while 79% of black voters supported it.
Highest opposition to removal was in East Tennessee where 63% said they were against it while 32% favored it. In Middle Tennessee, 59% opposed Trump's removal while 38% said they favored it. And in West Tennessee, the percentage of those opposing removal dropped to 53% while 43% said they supported it.
Earlier Friday, Tennessee Democratic Party Chairwoman Mary Mancini called Alexander "wrong" in a tweet, charging the three-term senator and two-time presidential candidate, "has abdicated his responsibility to uncover the ENTIRE truth about Trump's actions. There is more to be discovered and Congress is the place to do it - it's why we elected them. Sen. Alexander is now complicit in the coverup."
Alexander, meanwhile, told The Tennessean on Friday he doesn't think he was exactly giving the president a pass.
"I doubt that the president thinks that," he said, pointing to his Thursday statement. "What I said was that he did it and what he did was inappropriate."
The Mason-Dixon survey also found 57% of voters surveyed approve of the president's job performance while 42% disapproved.
Margin of error results for subgroups are higher than the overall sample's 4% margin.
Contact Andy Sher at email@example.com or 615-255-0550. Follow on Twitter @AndySher1.