NASHVILLE — Voters decided Thursday to retain Tennessee Supreme Court justices Gary Wade, Connie Clark and Sharon Lee, Democrats in a mostly conservative state, but it appears the failed effort to unseat them had one key impact.

The justices didn’t coast to the same high margins of victory as justices in prior retention elections have done.

“The last time these judges faced retention, they cruised to victory with 75 percent of the vote,” said Tennessee activist George Scoville, who has filed ethics complaints against the three justices.