Another national media report on Bredesen vs. Blackburn for U.S. Senate

Excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article on Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race between Democrat Phil Bredesen and Republican Marsha Blackburn:

“Many times Phil acts like a Republican,” said Colleen Conway Welch, a Republican who co-hosted a Bredesen fundraiser in her home in Nashville. “He’s a centrist. He was a good mayor and a good governor.”

Before a parade in late April in the west Tennessee town of Paris, Mr. Bredesen said in an interview he is undaunted by Mr. Trump’s victory margin in 2016 because he believes many voters were moved more by antipathy to Democrat Hillary Clinton than love for Mr. Trump. Still, one of his television ads begins bluntly: “Look, I’m not running against Donald Trump.’’

Later that day, he appeared at a Stanley Cup playoff game of the Nashville Predators where he was recognized by the game announcer for helping to bring the hockey team to town as mayor, and for keeping it in town as governor.

“I know Phil Bredesen is a Democrat running on a Democrat ticket, but he was a great governor,” said Dorothy Miller, a Republican Trump voter who watched Mr. Bredesen in the Paris parade.

…Mr. Bredesen is running away from his party—sometimes even against his party. In the interview, he said the Democratic brand in Tennessee has been damaged because too many voters think the party isn’t addressing their pocketbook concerns.

“I am a Democrat. It’s an organization I belong to. It’s not a religion,” he said. “I’m not going to go [to Washington] to be a warrior for the party against anything Trumpian.”

He has been a critic of the Affordable Care Act. As governor, he riled many Democrats by cutting a state program that expanded Medicaid—part of a record that led some liberals to object when President Barack Obama considered making him secretary of health and human services.

…One obstacle (for Blackburn) is that she is still not as well known outside her mid-Tennessee congressional district. Jack Young, GOP mayor of the east Tennessee city of Bristol, said she has her work cut out for her because Mr. Bredesen as governor left a big “footprint” in the area. “She will have a run for her money,” Mr. Young said.

Democrats are hoping—and some Republicans are worrying—that Ms. Blackburn is too conservative to win. But no GOP rival from the establishment wing came close to beating her to the nomination.

“Establishment forces think that Marsha is too conservative, but they lost,” said Andrew Roth, vice president for government affairs at the Club for Growth, a conservative political group that endorsed Ms. Blackburn.

The Blackburn campaign says it believes it has an edge because the 74-year-old Democrat hasn’t run a political campaign in 12 years and much has changed since then, including the growth of digital advertising, the rise of Twitter and the tougher, faster pace of campaigning that has brought.

While Mr. Bredesen has been broadcasting ads on television, Ms. Blackburn, 65, hasn’t yet gone on air and her campaign is instead using social media and digital ads to connect with targeted voters.

“This is a boxing ring,’’ said Ward Baker, former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a senior adviser to Ms. Blackburn’s campaign. “We’re going to put him in a corner and he won’t get out.”

Other Republicans acknowledge the fight has just begun.

“If the election were held tomorrow, the election would be close,” said Robin Smith, former Tennessee Republican Party chairwoman, before attending Ms. Blackburn’s speech in Chattanooga. “But the election is in November.”

5 Responses to Another national media report on Bredesen vs. Blackburn for U.S. Senate

  • Avatar
    Steve L. says:

    Fake news. The election WOULD NOT be close. Blackburn would win and win BIG. Congressman Blackburn is well known among Conservative voters in East Tennessee. And GOP mayors in Bristol (Mayor Young) should feel compelled to spread her name far and wide instead of mentioning this as a weakness. It is an opportunity for him to help his Conservative constituency. Welch is clearly a McConnell swamp creature who needs to see a therapist about a poor self image of herself. Vote Black and Vote Blackburn.

  • Avatar
    Lance Persson says:

    Vote for Blackburn BUT NOT Black. She has a record of following the Washington, DC leadership. She talks the talk but then follows the DC leadership when push comes to shove.

    VOTE for BILL LEE for governor. Proven leadership, has no political IOUs.

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Elections in Republican leaning states always involve Democratic media consultants conjuring up an imaginary breed of human a “moderate Democrat.” Name one moderate Democratic U. S. Senator. The media babbles on about good ole Joe Manchin of WVA. Moderate? If you call someone who votes liberal 79% of the time “moderate.” Not being crazy liberal like Chuck Schumer is not ipso facto being a “moderate.”

    To expect Bredesen to be the same “moderate” once he settles in with the left-wing Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate as he was when facing a conservative legislature as Governor in Nashville is to be painfully naïve. To vote for Trump in 2016 and then turn around and vote to give Democrats control of the Senate by voting for Bredesen so Trump can’t get much accomplished in his last two years in office is to show yourself not very good at voting.

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    James White says:

    “Blackburn is conservative” ? HA HA HA Lance, Marsha follows what the Deep State tells her what to do. The party bosses will tell each one, republican or democrat, what to do. There will be plenty of candidates that will follow the constitution to vote for. Not Blackburn. She has Violated her Oath to the Constitution too many times.

  • Avatar
    Eddie White says:

    Steve, I hope you are right and Blackburn wins big. My read is that this is going to a close and tough election. Blackburn needs to step up her campaign and get on TV as well. I attended the Wilson Co Reagan Dinner last week and she did not make it. I would like to see more visability.

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