Some very encouraging news today out of Tennessee courtesy of the latest NBC/Marist Poll:
Bredesen garners 48 percent of support among likely voters, compared with 46 percent for Blackburn. Five percent of likely voters responded that they are undecided. The Democratic former Tennessee governor's edge over the GOP representative falls within the poll's margin of error.
The two candidates aim to succeed Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican and occasional critic of President Donald Trump who declined to run for a third term. The incumbent's departure and Bredesen's statewide name recognition — he served from 2003 to 2011 — gives Democrats one of their best chances to flip a Senate seat on this year's brutal Senate map.
The GOP hopes to keep or expand its 51-49 seat majority in the chamber in November. As multiple Senate Democrats face re-election this year in states Trump won overwhelmingly, Bredesen would likely need to win in red Tennessee for his party to gain the two seats needed to take a majority.
The state's leanings show why the Democrat has avoided criticizing Trump in many instances. Forty-seven percent of likely voters in Tennessee approve of the job the president is doing, compared with 43 percent who disapprove, according to the NBC/Marist survey.
Bredesen leads among independent likely voters, garnering 49 percent compared with 45 percent for Blackburn. He also does a better job than Blackburn of