Democrats Now Looking To Tennessee Senate Race

By on December 26, 2017

After pulling off a stunner in Alabama, Democrats are now shifting their focus to next year’s Senate race in Tennessee, where it was also once believed they wouldn’t stand much of a chance.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) announced earlier this year that he would be retiring, thus vacating his seat. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and former Rep. Stephen Fincher are the top two GOP candidates who will look to challenge for Corker’s seat in the 2018 midterms, but it’s another familiar name in Tennessee politics that has Democrats excited about their prospects in the race.

A pollster for Doug Jones, Paul Maslin, spoked about the race in a Yahoo! piece:

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen, a known quantity in Tennessee, has kicked off his Senate run from a position of strength.

“He starts with credibility among Tennesseans that Doug Jones didn’t have or almost no Democratic challenger in any of the other Republican states would have next year,” Maslin said.

Voters both in Tennessee and Alabama went for Trump in a big way in 2016: Trump’s margin of victory was 28 percentage points in Alabama and 26 points in Tennessee, though his poll numbers have slipped somewhat since. And while Fincher and Blackburn slug it out to the primary for who can be the more pro-Trump candidate, Bredesen can concentrate on a message of being a problem-solver who can “fix the mess” in Washington.

This is just one of the races that appears to be primed for a Democratic upset. The historically unpopular agenda of the Trump administration has opened the door to a blue wave the likes of which haven’t been seen in this generation. It’s still up to the left to capitalize on the GOP’s mistakes, though.

They will need to rally behind a platform that’s more substantive than “we aren’t Trump” if they want to compete for moderate voters. Still, the Democrats look to be making early gains, so there’s a cautious optimism they will be able to get it done next November.