MTSU Poll reveals strong support for Carson

The latest MTSU Poll conducted statewide focuses on presidential candidates and views on abortion and gay marriage. 

The candidate poll began by asking, “Of all the candidates currently running for president, can you please name the one person you would most like to win the election?” The question offered no specific candidate names. The poll’s sample of registered voters responded:

  • Ben Carson (R): 19 percent
  • Hillary Clinton (D): 16 percent
  • Donald Trump (R): 14 percent
  • Bernie Sanders (D): 5 percent

Some respondents did not give an opinion one way or the other, or refused to answer the question.



“Carson is leading his closest Republican rival, businessman Donald Trump, by a significant margin, and both Carson and Trump have better favorability ratings than Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton,” said Jason Reineke, Journalism professor and associate director of MTSU’s statewide poll.

Additional polling revealed Tennessee voters remain opposed to letting gay couples marry legally, and about half of Tennessee voters think abortion should be against the law in most or all cases.

Ken Blake headshot


“Reflecting patterns in previous MTSU Polls, opposition to the legality of both same-sex marriage and abortion runs highest among Tennessee’s evangelical Christian and Republican voters,” said Ken Blake, Journalism professor and poll director. “In both groups, sizable majorities think it should be unlawful for same-sex couples to marry and think abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.


Regarding abortion:

  • 53 percent of the state’s voters think abortion should be against the law either in “most cases” (31 percent) or “all cases” (22 percent).
  • 39 percent think it should be legal in either “most cases” (25 percent) or “all cases” (14 percent).
  • Around 8 percent don’t know or declined to answer.

On the question of same-sex marriage:

  • 57 percent say they either “oppose” (18 percent) or “strongly oppose” (39 percent) permitting same-sex marriage.
  • 29 percent either “favor” (18 percent) or “strongly favor” (11 percent) allowing such unions.
  • A substantial 14 percent don’t know or declined to answer

Same-sex marriage finds majority support (62 percent) among non-evangelical voters in Tennessee and falls just short of majority support (49 percent) among those age 18 to 34.

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