Vanderbilt poll: Trump’s lead over Clinton fell after Indiana primary

(Graphic: Media General)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A poll by Vanderbilt University shows presidential candidate Donald Trump’s lead over Hillary Clinton in Tennessee dropped following the Indiana Primary.

The survey conducted between April 25 and May 11 showed Trump had 44 percent of voters while Clinton trails with only 35.

But following the Indiana Primary on May 3, when Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, his lead narrowed to just four points to 45-41, according to John Geer, a Vanderbilt professor and co-director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Studies.

Click here to view a presentation on the 13th Vanderbilt University Poll.

While Tennessee is Trump country, the Vanderbilt University professors who conducted the poll point to a much larger than expected group of Tennesseans,13-percent, who say they won’t vote for either candidate.

“We did a similar question in may of 2012 between Romney and Obama, and there were only six percent who volunteered they would not vote for either, so you see a doubling of that,” said Geer.

He was asked if the 45-41 figure of those polled after Trump became the presumptive nominee means Tennessee could be competitive for a Democrat nominee for the first time since Al Gore in 2000.

Here’s how Geer put that competitive question after a little prompting.

“I might be willing to spend some of your money on it, but not any of my money on it,” he laughed.

Breaking down the numbers by gender show Tennessee women tied between Trump and Clinton at 39 percent with 14 percent saying they would not vote for either.

A majority of Tennessee men favored Trump by 20 percent at 51-31 with 13 percent would not vote for either.

There were a variety of topic other topics covered in the semi-annual poll.

As Tennessee roads get busier all the time with six-billion dollar backlog of projects, 52 percent of Tennesseans said they would support a 12-cent a gallon increase.

Slightly smaller numbers of 46 percent supported an 8-cent increase and 47 percent supported a 16-cent increase.

Those figures remained essentially similar to answers when similar questions were asked last fall.

As gas prices are little higher now than they were in November you could say its kind of a robust support among nearly half the registered voters for some kind of increase in the gas tax,” said Vanderbilt professor Josh Clinton, who is co-director along with Geer of the Vanderbilt poll.

Making the Bible the state book is more complicated. Because of that, the pollsters asked questions which found the public differed on the reasons for not supporting the idea.

A majority agreed that it either “made light of it” or “violated the separation of church and state.”

The figures taken together collectively support Governor Bill Haslam’s upheld veto of making the Bible the state book.

“This indicates that the governor’s move here and the state legislature’s decision not to override it is consistent with the public’s thinking,” added Geer.

And the recent law passed allowing state college professors or staff to carry properly permitted weapons on campus gets an overwhelming support Tennesseans statewide 59 to 39 percent.

The poll of 1,001 registered voters was administered by phone, both landline and cell. A margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percent is also factored into the poll.

Of those polled who chose not to choose either candidate, 42 percent are Republican, 36 percent Independent and 22 percent Democrat.

Geer cautioned the poll is designed to reflect voter attitudes during a particular moment in time and not influence public opinion.

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