Statewide Vanderbilt poll shows 'malaise' for Lee, Biden and Trump

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Posted at 6:00 AM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 08:13:36-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — A new poll released Thursday morning by Vanderbilt University showed voter support for the Tennessee governor and the last two presidents is waning.

Pollsters said that the drop in support for Gov. Bill Lee, former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden demonstrates a "malaise" among voters. The survey of 1,000 adults who are registered voters living in Tennessee was conducted between April 26 and May 14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

“There’s a general dissatisfaction with the direction of the country right now, and we pick that up in a lot of different ways — whether it be in the national poll or in how people are viewing local leaders,” pollster John Geer said. “One of the themes our latest poll shows is that here in Tennessee, there is a declining appetite to have a replay of the 2020 presidential election in 2024.”

Among Democrats, 79% of those polled said they approve of Biden’s performance, while last year 92% voiced support for him. Only 31% of all those polled approved of Biden’s performance — down from 39% last year around this time — and a mere% said they hope Biden runs for reelection.

And just 38% of those polled said they want Trump to run for U.S. president in 2024, a drop from 44% in December 2021. While Republicans are much more supportive of a 2024 Trump campaign than Democrats, they, too, showed declining interest — 68% supported the idea, down 11 points from December 2021.

While Tennessee voters are largely unhappy with the nation’s leadership, Gov. Bill Lee remains popular with constituents, despite a slight drop in his approval rating. Lee earned a 56% approval from those polled, down from last year’s level of support but similar to results from December 2021. When breaking down attitudes by party, 80% of Republicans said they’d reelect Lee compared with only 7% of Democrats.