Sen. Bob Corker would win re-election easily against Al Gore, Jim Cooper, Harold Ford or country crooner Tim McGraw, but lose to Phil Bredesen, according to an opinion poll released Tuesday.
The poll from Raleigh, N.C.-based Public Policy Polling found Corker beating Gore 53 percent to 38 percent; Ford 55-32; Cooper 50-32; and McGraw 50-28.
Bredesen defeats Corker in a hypothetical contest in the poll — 46 percent to 41 percent.
Bredesen said before leaving the governor’s office in January that he has no interest in the Senate or in running for any public office for that matter.
“Bob Corker’s in a pretty strong position for reelection unless Phil Bredesen runs,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.
Poll analyst Tom Jensen described Corker’s overall approval rating — 42 percent — as “pretty average” for a senator, but good enough to win re-election in Tennessee. Bredesen’s approval rating is more than 20 points higher, with 63 percent of voters holding a positive opinion of him. Corker is up for re-election in 2012.
“In a state that’s trended increasingly red over the last few years, average popularity is probably going to get you re-elected as a Republican incumbent,” Jensen said.
Among Republicans, 62 percent give Corker good marks while 57 percent of Democrats think he’s doing poorly. Independents are split nearly even with 43 percent with a positive opinion and 41 percent with a negative one.
In the statewide poll, Congressman Cooper’s approval rating was only 25 percent, with 53 percent unsure of what to think about him.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 500 Tennessee voters from Feb. 9-13. The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percent.