MTSU poll displays drop in Sen. Bob Corker’s approval rating after feud with President Trump

Photo courtesy of ABC News

Story by Anthony Merriweather / Contributing Writer

A recent Middle Tennessee State University poll displayed a significant drop in U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s approval rating, following the senator’s heated Twitter exchanges with President Donald Trump.

The results of the poll were gathered from 600 registered Tennessee voters from Oct. 16 to 23 through randomly selected cell and landline calls. The answers from Tennessee voters show that Corker’s disapproval rating has increased 14 points since last spring, leaving 41 percent of Tennessee voters not satisfied with the current Senate chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

According to the poll, Tennessee voters were asked if they had read or heard about the conflict between the Trump and Corker. 68 percent of voters said that they have read or heard “some” or “a lot” about the conflict, 31 percent said that they have read or heard “only a little” or “nothing at all until now” and the remaining voters said that they don’t know or refused to respond.

Among Tennessee voters who say they have read or heard “some” or “a lot” about the conflict, 40 percent disapprove of Corker and approve of Trump, 34 percent approve of Corker and disapprove of Trump, 15 percent approve of both Corker and Trump and 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,” said Ken Blake, the MTSU poll director, in a press release. “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.”

Corker and Trump’s relationship predates Trump’s presidency. There were even, at one point, talks of Corker possibly becoming the vice president or secretary in Trump’s administration. Despite Corker showing his appreciation for Trump’s transition into the political lifestyle in late April of 2016, Corker said, in mid-August of 2017, that Trump “(had) not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”

White House staff and, later, Trump responded on Twitter to Corker’s comments. One of the first tweets that Trump published in response to Corker’s comment read, “Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ‘18. Tennessee not happy!”

In early October of 2017, Trump attacked Corker again via Twitter.

In a later tweet that was published on the same day, Trump added, “Bob Corker gave us the Iran Deal, & that’s about it. We need Tax Cuts/Reform, we need people that can get the job done!”

Corker responded to Trump’s statements in his own tweet, calling the White House an “adult day care center.”

The same day these October tweets were published, Corker spoke with the New York Times and said that Trump is setting the country “on the path to World War III.”

To contact News Editor Andrew Wigdor, email

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