Democrat and Knoxville attorney Gordon Ball has been gearing up to run for the U.S. Senate against Lamar Alexander. He hired political guru Tom Jester and commissioned a statewide poll. But Ball's heart doctor has told him he needs to drop out; he cannot stand up to the rigors of a statewide campaign.
The poll had some interesting results, however, and it has good news and bad news for Alexander.
Alexander's approval rating is at 56 percent. But in the generic questions, fully 64 percent of voters say the country is headed in the wrong direction. A plurality of those polled believe Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame for the problems in Washington.
The poll also has 74 percent of respondents saying it would help fix the problems in Washington if "we did not re-elect any of the current members of Congress, regardless of their political party."
On the specific question about Alexander's re-election run, 28 percent say they will definitely vote for him, 32 percent would consider someone else, 28 percent undecided, and 12 percent would vote against him.
While those polled think things in Washington are a mess, they do not think it should be solved by tampering with entitlements. Fully 80 percent of respondents say Congress should leave Social Security and Medicare alone.
Asked about national issues and media, 34 percent of those polled split their news source between ABC, NBC, and CBS; Fox News gets 20 percent, CNN 15 percent, Internet news sites 27 percent, local newspapers 2 percent, and radio at 2 percent.