Duty and Country PAC, a Washington DC based political action committee that is aligned with the Democratic Party, has released a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling that shows Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen with a narrow 3 point lead over his Republican opponent Marsha Blackburn.
The poll was conducted among 583 likely voters June 10-11 and has a margin of error of 4 points, placing Bredesen’s lead within that margin of error. The poll indicates that Bredesen leads Blackburn 44 percent to 41 percent with 15 percent undecided.
In the release, Duty and Country PAC did not include a topline summary providing data in the demographic and political affiliations of poll respondents, which is customary among most professional polling firms. Nor did they include a detailed description of the poll’s methodology, which is also customary, or more detailed crosstabs, which is a common practice among professional polling firms.
The poll stands in marked contrast to the Axios-Survey Monkey Poll released earlier this week that shows Blackburn leading Bredesen by 14 points, 55 percent to 41 percent.
Duty and Country PAC has raised about $2 million this year according to their latest Federal Election Commission filings. Their latest report indicates they had about $263,000 cash on hand at that time.
According to The Tennessean, Duty and Country spent $1.8 million on West Virginia’s Republican primary Senate race earlier this year. The PAC’s treasurer — former West Virginia U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Booth Goodwin, ran unsuccessfully for Governor of West Virginia in 2016 as a Democrat. As U.S. Attorney Goodwin successfully prosecuted coal industry mogul Don Blankenship for a mine accident that killed 29 of his workers.
Duty and Country PAC ran an expensive ad campaign earlier this year directed by Goodwin that blasted away at Blankenship’s two main primary opponents, Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. The group did not attack Blankenship. The spokesman for the group, Mike Plante, is longtime West Virginia Democratic strategist (and former Manchin consultant).
Notably, Duty and Country PAC’s mailing address and suite number is the same as the Senate Majority PAC and other top DC Democratic groups. The group denied that they were trying to help Blankenship, but the intent was obvious.
Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill noted that Bredesen has spent about $3 million on television ads so far this year while Blackburn is holding back her television ads until after the August 2 primary season when television ad rates should be a bit less and the political noise level to overcome is substantially less.
“Blackburn is facing a self-funder with unlimited money and has to be more strategic and frugal in when and how she buys,” Gill adds. “The fact that the race is within the margin of error without her being on the air, and with the advantages of battling in a decidedly red state with Trump’s full support, should make Republicans pretty confident about her prospects moving towards November. As voters get to know the real Phil Bredesen and his extremely liberal partisan leanings the numbers will improve dramatically for Blackburn.”
Bredesen didn’t donate over $60,000 to Hillary Clinton and a half million dollars to liberal Democrat candidates across the country because he is a moderate interested in bipartisanship, Gill pointed out.