Last Thursday, Republican and Democratic jaws in Tennessee were left agape: Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, considered the underdog in the race for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Bob Corker, was now leading Democratic former Gov. Phil Bredesen by a margin of 54 to 40 percent statewide, according to a just-completed New York Times/Siena Poll.
Should these figures hold up next month, Blackburn — an unabashed movement conservative and ally of President Trump — will have dashed one of the Democrats’ biggest hopes for picking up Senate seats anywhere in 2018.
Bredesen, 73, is a multi-millionaire businessman and was a popular governor from 2002-10. But many in the business community, Tennessee sources told us, decided to go with Blackburn because of her present standing in the House (she’s chairman of the House Energy Subcommittee on Communications and the Internet) and her careful cultivation of the business leaders in Nashville.
Another factor in Blackburn’s strong position has been the fallout from the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
“The display of gross unfairness and power-grabbing venom that the Democrats orchestrated in the hearings reminded conservative and independent voters and moderate Republican voters of just how important it was to elect a conservative Republican to the Senate,” former Rep. Van Hilleary, R.-Tenn., told Newsmax.
Hilleary, who lost the governorship to Bredesen in 2002, added that the Kavanaugh confirmation “also has fired up the base even more. No doubt about it.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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