WASHINGTON – GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn has a narrow lead over Democrat Phil Bredesen in the Tennessee Senate race, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The Reuters/Ipsos/University of Virginia poll found that 47 percent of the respondents said they support Blackburn, compared with 44 percent who said they support Bredesen. Three percent said they would vote for a third-party candidate.
The sampling included 1,108 likely voters and was carried out Oct. 4-11. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
The presence of a statistical tie represents a dramatic departure from previous polls that showed Blackburn leading by double-digits.
The candidates are vying for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Bob Corker.
Blackburn, 66, has served in Congress since 2003. She is a staunch conservative who enjoys strong support from President Donald Trump.
Bredesen, 74, is considered a political moderate. He served as mayor of Nashville for nine years and then made the climb to the governor’s mansion.
Tennessee is one of the most reliably red states in the U.S. Trump won the Volunteer State by 26 points in 2016.
Former Vice President Al Gore was the last Democrat to represent Tennessee in the Senate.