MTSU poll determines effect of Trump-Corker feud

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - President Donald Trump has more support in Tennessee than he does in other parts of the country, according to the latest MTSU poll.

The poll found that Sen. Bob Corker's disapproval rating rose 14 points since spring 2016 and amid a public feud with Trump. 

Nearly 70 percent of the people polled said they were aware of the feud between the two lawmakers. Of those people, 40 percent said they're on Trump's side, 34 percent said they are on Corker's side, 15 percent still approve of both Trump and Corker, while 12 percent disapprove of both.

"Essentially, Corker's negatives have increased markedly, but he has ended up only a bit behind Trump in terms of approval, and possibly on par with him," said Dr. Ken Blake, director of the poll at Middle Tennessee State University. "Meanwhile, some undecideds have switched to disapproval of President Trump, but Trump's base is sticking with him and keeping his approval rate relatively high in the state overall."

In Tennessee, Trump's approval rating remains at 50 percent, which is well above his national approval rating--which is around 37 percent.

The poll then asked people who they would support if Trump and Corker ran against each other. The poll found 35 percent would pick Trump over Corker and 32 percent (which is within the margin of error) would pick Corker over Trump.

The poll reached 600 registered Tennessee voters (35 percent identified as Republicans, 23 percent identified as Democrats, the remaining 42 percent choose not to identify with either party) via randomly selected cell and landline phone calls; it was conducted Oct. 16-23 and has an error margin of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.

Congressman Steve Cohen was in Memphis on Friday. He said since Corker declined to seek re-election, he's taking the opportunity to speak freely about the President.

"He [Corker] is a man of moral rectitude and he's speaking the truth. Donald Trump is not balanced, not competent, and he does endanger the health of the world," Cohen said. "This is something that the founding fathers...probably are flipping in their graves."

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