February 22, 2024 10:00am

This Month’s Multiple Political Hits

Including Gloria Johnson running for two offices at the same time, Megan Barry’s congressional bid, voter turnout, the president’s age… and whether we’ll see snow again.

Photo of Bruce Dobie
Nashville, TN Correspondent

We begin with quick political bullet points from this February Power Poll Nashville, in which it appears that:

• A majority of Nashville Power Pollers do NOT think it is good policy to allow people to seek election to two offices in the same election cycle. (Background: Gloria Johnson, a Knoxville Democrat, is currently running for the U.S. Senate and also seeking reelection to her seat in the state Legislature.)

• A large majority of Power Pollers predict the General Assembly will pass legislation prohibiting people from running for more than one office in the same election cycle and holding multiple elected offices at the same time.

• When asked if the U.S. Constitution should establish a maximum age limit for presidents, it was almost a tie, with most saying no. Barely.

• Tennessee’s presidential primary will be held on March 4 and the vast majority of Power Pollers say it’ll be a dud and turnout will be lower than four years ago.

• The decision by Republican congressman Mark Green in the Seventh District not to seek reelection was a helpful boost to the candidacy of Megan Barry, Nashville’s former mayor who is likely to win the Democratic Primary.

• No more snow before the end of winter! Bring on the daffodils.

Here are the specific questions and answers to this Power Poll. 2,091 Power Pollers were sent the survey. 866 responded for a response rate of 41.42%.

Context 1: The Gloria-Johnson-Two-Offices-At-Once-Issue

Lest anyone think Power Pollers are reflexively Democratic, this question cuts against that grain. Power Pollers are saying, “We think despite the fact that Gloria Johnson is a Democrat, that what she is attempting to do is not good policy.”

That would in the end help Republicans.

And as to whether a bill will pass to rectify this problem, most are predicting it will. One wonders whether Johnson will recognize that this is a slight political problem and reverse course, announcing that she is not running for both positions.

Context II: Amend the U.S. Constitution to Prohibit Old Folks from Running for President

As if we needed a signal that age was an overriding issue in the 2024 presidential contest, this was it. A very large number of Power Pollers are fine with amending the nation’s Holy Bible to address the age issue. People are generally reluctant to tamper with the Constitution, our national instrument of Sacred Governance. And yet, enough members appear adequately concerned by the issue to want to amend our Founding Fathers’ words. Still, by the narrowest of margins, most Power Pollers said no to the age maximum.

One can only imagine what that age limit is. I would wager this never happens.

Context III: Turnout in Tennessee’s Presidential Primary on March 4? What will it be?

Turnout will be lower.

The candidates have been chosen.

There is little urgency to care at this moment.

Context IV: Mark Green Steps Aside; What’s This Mean for Megan?

There are longshot races, and then there are maybes, and then there are certainties. Megan is moving into maybe range.

Why did Mark Green decide not to run again for his safe congressional seat in the Seventh District? Democrats would tell you that he wants to run for governor to follow Bill Lee and he didn’t want to do so having run a tough race against Megan.

I have no inside info here.

However, to speak well of Megan, she is producing some impressive fundraising. That’s #1.

Secondly, one can imagine a scenario in which the GOP Primary is filled with numerous candidates and the guy standing furthest to the right wins. So it’s Megan vs. MAGA.

Megan needs that extremism to run against. Her Nashville base (as evidenced by her fundraiser this week) is pumped. In spite of her dramatic departure from the mayor’s office, she retains a solid following, bountiful political assets, and numerous Nashvillians who seek Democratic Party mojo.

Context V: Snow?

No snow. No snow for the remainder of the year.

P.S. I’ve been jumping in my swimming pool for 30 days straight. I swear by this cold-water plunging stuff. Today was 56 degrees. Tim Corbin and I did 42 degrees couple weeks ago. Never again. It was no big deal to that guy.

Power Poll Members: Do you have a friend or colleague who should be on Power Poll? Please invite them to join!

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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