The Judge Bob Corlew for Congress campaign released the results of a new internal poll on Tuesday that shows Corlew is in a statistical tie with former Agriculture Commissioner John Rose in the race for the Republican nomination for the 6th Congressional District to replace Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06), who is running for governor.
While polls released by any campaign should always be viewed with a grain of salt, campaigns often release the results of their internal polls when they believe they tell a favorable narrative for their candidate.
According to the Corlew for Congress campaign internal poll conducted of likely Republican voters in the 6th Congressional District primary on the evenings of July 22 and July 23, John Rose has 20 percent support, while Judge Bob Corlew has 16 percent support. All other candidates have 8 percent support, while a whopping 56 percent remain undecided.
Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill was particularly intrigued by the 56 percent undecided number at this stage of the campaign.
“We are in the final days of early voting and I expect around half of the total Republican primary vote to be cast during early voting,” Gill said.
“If these whole numbers are accurate then a lot of people who are still claiming to be undecided have already actually cast their vote, and presumably voted for one of the candidates in this race. If they are still claiming to be undecided after having already voted, then either they’re not willing to disclose who they voted for or they don’t recall who they voted for. In either event it is an unusually high undecided figure at this point which raises questions about the poll’s accuracy,” Gill concluded.
The sample size of the poll was 350 respondents, of which 40 percent were contacted via cell phone.
The campaign did not release margin of error information for the poll, but a poll with that sample size typically has a 6 percent to 7 percent margin of error.
The campaign also did not release a top line summary of questions and responses, or data on demographics and party affiliation of respondents, which most independent polls usually provide.
“I’m always skeptical of any poll where we can’t review crosstabs and see the details. But if this is accurate it does indicate that despite a lot of mail and television ads, John Rose has hit a ceiling and stayed there for quite some time,” Tennessee Star Political Editor Gill added.
“Obviously, somebody is going to win this race, and it will almost certainly be Rose or Corlew. But it is hard to determine what will move that massive number of undecideds one way or the other in the remaining week before August 2,” Gill concluded.
In an earlier Corlew campaign nternal poll of likely Republican voters in the 6th Congressional District conducted July 1st and July 2nd with the same sample size, Rose was at 20 percent, Corlew was at 9 percent, all other candidates were at 10 percent, and 61 percent of respondents were undecided.
George Wass, campaign manager for Judge Bob Corlew, offered his comments as the campaign released the poll.
“This poll is more evidence that John Rose is failing to connect with conservatives, even after his campaign and his ‘Never Trump’ allies have spent over $1.8 million,” Waas said.
“John Rose is so desperate to revive his failing campaign, he is now running to the swamp to be toasted by lobbyists who gave $60,000 to the group committed to make Nancy Pelosi the next speaker of the House,” he added.
“Meanwhile, Judge Corlew is in the middle of his ‘Every County Counts’ tour, meeting Tennesseans where the live, work, play and worship in every county in the 6th District,” Waas concluded.
State Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) and several other candidates are also running for the Republican nomination to represent the 6th Congressional District, which will be determined when voters go to the polls next Thursday, August 2. Early voting ends Saturday, July 28.