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A new poll about voters in central Tennessee show the race split 45 /45 right now.

John McCain and Barack Obama are polling in a dead heat among Middle Tennessee voters.

Rural and suburban voters lean toward McCain, while Nashville voters favor Obama. The result is an even split, 45 percent to 45 percent, among likely voters in the eight counties surrounding Nashville, according to a poll conducted this week by Mitchell Research & Communications Inc.

Now the thing about Tennessee is that it is almost three separate states. Eastern Tennessee is dominated by Knoxville and is a very RED part of the state. Central Tennessee is dominated by Nashville and is almost always RED. Finally, there is Western Tennessee and is dominated by Memphis. Western Tennessee is RED, but Memphis is very BLUE.

So here is the issue. If Central Tennessee is tied up, it is going to come down to how much pull the Eastern part and Western part of Tennessee get to see who wins the state.

In Memphis (Shelby County), voting has been at record turn out, especially in the African-American community -

The early-voting numbers coming out of Shelby County suggest a record turnout for the Nov. 4 federal, state and local elections, with an unprecedented turnout of black voters driving potential record numbers.

Among all demographic groups, early and absentee voting is moving beyond historic patterns, with 76,154 votes cast through Monday. That averages out to 16,575 per weekday -- only 9,847 voted Saturday -- and if those trends continue, about 220,000 of Shelby County's 647,923 registered voters will participate in early voting, or 34 percent of all registered voters.

So how about Knoxville (Knox County)?

Knoxville-Knox County bucked the trend: early voting numbers there were down 1 percent from four years ago.

That does not bode well for McCain, if his strongest part of the state is not turning out early to vote.

This may all be a fantasy, but something is happening in Tennessee and don't be surprised if Obama loses by single digits or even wins the state. If that is the case, the Republicans hold on the South is OVER!

Originally posted to Six Degrees of Aaron on Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 08:21 AM PDT.

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