MTSU Poll Says Tennessee Growing More Conservative

Oct 30, 2012

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The MTSU Poll has released its second round of results and they show a clear trend in Tennessee toward a more conservative electorate.

The Survey Group at Middle Tennessee State conducted its poll October 16 to 21 and released its initial findings this past weekend. Pollsters at the University released their second round of results early Tuesday morning.

Dr. Ken Blake, director of the MTSU Poll, says Tennesseans are growing more conservative, with increasing numbers of white voters, the college educated and political independents shifting to the right.

“Republicans are deepening their hold on the State of Tennessee, and deepening that hold probably among some pretty important demographic groups. They have to be happy about their rising numbers among younger Tennesseans and also among the state’s politically unaffiliated.”

Blake says the MTSU Poll also suggests Tennessee voters differ from the wider, national, electorate in a significant way. National polls indicate that the economy is the top issue for most voters, but things are different here in Tennessee.

“For most Tennesseans the real question is which candidates share their values. We don’t really know what voters mean by that – by values in particular. We think it kind-of means they’ve voting for whichever candidate agrees with them about how things ought to be most generally.”

One additional finding of the MTSU Poll that seems to reflect the conservative shift among Tennessee voters: The state’s new voter photo ID law is supported by more than 80 percent of Tennesseans.

The MTSU Poll was conducted by phone with more than 600 state residents considered likely to vote in the upcoming election. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.

If you’d like to review the latest MTSU Poll findings for yourself, you’ll find them online at