May 26, 2022 - News

Lee's approval rating holds steady in Vanderbilt poll

Photo illustration of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee with lines radiating from him.
Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Gov. Bill Lee's approval rating in the latest Vanderbilt University poll is 56%, up one point from last December, as he turns toward his 2022 reelection bid.

  • Meanwhile, President Biden's approval rating in Tennessee fell to 31%.

Why it matters: Vanderbilt's statewide poll offers insight into Tennessee voters' views on leadership, abortion and criminal justice.

State of play: The poll was conducted April 26-May 14. In the midst of polling, news broke that the U.S. Supreme Court seemed poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, which would quickly ban almost all abortions in Tennessee.

  • The poll found 36% of respondents think abortion should be legal in all cases.
  • An additional 44% favor allowing some legal abortions in cases of rape or incest or when the mother's life is in danger.
  • Only 17% of respondents thought abortion should be outlawed altogether.

Meanwhile, the poll found bipartisan support for criminal justice reform at the national and state levels.

  • 70% of respondents said the criminal justice system needs "major changes" or "a complete overhaul."
  • And 72% said they supported using taxpayer dollars for convicted people to access rehabilitation programs such as mental health care or addiction treatment.

Between the lines: The poll surveyed 1,000 registered Tennessee voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.8 percentage points.

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