At Blackman Elementary where Murfreesboro residents were in the second day of early voting, almost all of the residents had heard the allegations that pro-life congressman Scott DesJarlais was recorded 12-years-ago pressing a then-girlfriend about getting an abortion.
“Some of it you listen to, but then you can't help but roll it around in the back of your mind when you are voting,” said voter Nancy Lomerson.
“But its not going to change who I voted for,” she added without saying which candidate received her vote.
“What I hear are the accusations, which are lot of times political,” Rutherford County voter Roger White told Nashville's News 2.
White said he was voting for DesJarlais because, “The man has done well with what he's said he's going to do, so my vote is going to be on what he's doing now, not some past issue drawn up for political situations.”
Democratic challenger Eric Stewart claims his polls show him in a statistical dead heat with the first term congressman in the wake of the allegations.
DesJarlais spokesman Brandon Lewis dismissed the survey calling it “a false push poll” that was asking leading questions to voters before they responded with their preference in the 4th Congressional race.
“Our numbers are very strong,” said the DesJarlais spokesman.
Lewis did not go into actual percentages saying he did not want to tip off the Stewart campaign with actual percentages.
On Tuesday, DesJarlais, who practiced medicine before being elected in 2010, went on his Facebook page in response to the abortion allegations made initially in the Huffington Post last week.
The online publication cited the 12-year-old recorded phone conversation between DesJarlais and an unnamed woman who he said was briefly a patient of his while he was practicing medicine.
DesJarlais went into detail about how he dated the woman while being legally separated from his wife prior to their divorce.
In the Facebook posting, DesJarlais does not dispute that he talked to the woman about the having an abortion after learning she was pregnant, but says he had several “reliable reasons to believe this [her pregnancy] was false.”
“As such, I used rather strong rhetoric in hopes that it would lead her to admit the truth – that there was no pregnancy,” he continued in his Facebook posting.
Both DesJarlais and Stewart did not make campaign appearance in the largely rural district that includes Rutherford County for the first time after this year's redistricting.
- Oct. 12, 2012: Rep. DesJarlais responds to abortion recording allegations
- Oct. 10, 2012: Rep. Scott DesJarlais urged mistress to have abortion