Trend shows widespread support for wine in grocery stores endures in Tenn. Political ideology, religious beliefs important predictors of opinion
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — With the familiar debate over whether grocery stores should be allowed to sell wine under Tennessee law, previous results from the Middle Tennessee State University Poll indicate widespread support for the proposal.
In the Spring 2011 statewide poll, 69 percent of Tennesseans said they were in favor of groceries being allowed to sell wine, while only 17 percent were opposed and 13 percent were undecided.
This was an increase in support over spring of 2009, when the poll found 62 percent of Tennesseans in favor, 26 percent opposed and 12 percent undecided. However, only the decline in opposition was statistically significant — the other changes were within the polls’ margins of error.
In terms of public opinion in the state, opposition to wine in grocery stores seems to be driven primarily by political ideology and religious beliefs.
The highest level of support was exhibited by self-identified political liberals and moderates who said they attended worship services seldom or never. On the other hand, the highest levels of opposition were exhibited by Tennesseans who strongly identified with conservative evangelical Christian beliefs.
“Though business interests and law enforcement are also important parts of the conversation, in terms of public opinion Tennesseans have clearly been in favor of grocery stores being allowed to sell wine for some time,” said Jason Reineke, associate director of the MTSU Poll.