GOP Poll Shows Fincher Up by 10 in Tennessee

Posted August 18, 2010 at 10:49am

After winning a high-profile primary earlier this month, Republican Stephen Fincher is well-positioned for the general election in Tennessee’s 8th district, according to an internal poll released Wednesday by his campaign.

The survey, which was conducted by the Tarrance Group, shows Fincher ahead of state Sen. Roy Herron (D) 47 percent to 37 percent. Independent Donn Janes took 5 percent.

The poll of 400 likely voters was conducted Aug. 10-11, less than a week after the primary. It had a 4.9-point margin of error.

Fincher had a 38 percent to 15 percent favorable/unfavorable rating, according to the poll. Herron had a 23 percent favorable, 19 percent unfavorable rating. Not surprisingly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Barack Obama fared much worse in the conservative rural Tennessee district, which is a key reason Fincher is already working to tie Herron to his party leadership in the general election.

“The liberal Obama-Pelosi agenda that Senator Herron supports is not what the people want and it’s time we sent that message to Washington,” Fincher said in a release Wednesday.

Fincher’s survey also showed the farmer and first-time candidate with an 11-point name recognition advantage over Herron, who has served in the state Legislature for more than two decades. That advantage likely has a lot to do with the fact that the GOP primary was a high-profile affair that saw the top three candidates spend a total of about $5 million. Outside groups also played heavily in the GOP contest. Herron was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Herron’s lack of an opponent in the primary allowed him to bank well over $1 million for the November contest, while Fincher was forced to spend heavily to win the nomination. And Herron is already using his hefty bank account to go after Fincher with television ads since the primary.

“Voters are going to start learning about Fincher’s risky agenda and when they do they are going to learn that he has plans to ship Tennessee jobs to China and India and will gamble away seniors’ Social Security money on Wall Street,” spokesman Brandon Puttbrese said. “We’ll see how that polls.”