Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) starts his 2014 primary campaign in a dominant position, with 69 percent of Tennessee Republicans approving of his job performance, according to a poll conducted for his campaign.

The poll, from Whit Ayres and North Star Opinion Research, shows Alexander leading just-announced opponent and state Rep. Joe Carr, 64 percent to 22 percent. He also leads another potential opponent, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, 62 percent to 23 percent.

Alexander's approval rating is 58 percent among "very conservative" voters and 57 percent among tea partiers.

Of the 69 percent of Republicans who view him favorably, 25 percent strongly approve of him. That's twice the number who strongly disapprove of him (12 percent) -- numbers that suggest there is not a large and organic anti-Alexander movement in the Republican Party.