Surprise! Trump voters help Blackburn trounce Bredesen

Frank CagleFeature, Frank Talk

When will pollsters learn that Trump supporters and conservatives in general are almost impossible to quantify? They often refuse to participate in polls and when they do there is no guarantee they will tell pollsters the truth. How many polls did you read in the Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen Senate race that had the race tied? Meanwhile, Tuesday night, Trump fav Blackburn was racking up 65 to 75 percent of the vote in rural counties and though the margins were closer in metro areas, she still trounced Bredesen by a wide margin.

Taylor Swift’s millennials evidently had other things to do rather than turn out to vote for Bredesen, despite Swift’s endorsement.

Most political observers say the race was Bredesen’s to lose, but the race flipped during the confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. People in Tennessee, to quote Gov. Bill Haslam, realized it matters which color jersey you wear in the U.S. Senate. Despite $80 million being spent on the race, the election likely came down to Bredesen getting shafted by the national Democrats and mobs scratching on the doors of the Supreme Court, accosting senators in the Capitol and in restaurants. And Blackburn had Donald Trump in three times to remind the state’s voters in case they forgot.

The writing seemed to be on the wall for Bredesen the last two weeks, when the national media went silent on the Tennessee U.S. Senate race.

The polls were projecting that Bill Lee would win the governor’s race by a comfortable 65 percent margin. He made it easily. Without the Trump factor, the Lee race against Democrat Karl Dean was much easier to gauge.

Former Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett easily won the U.S. House seat against a spirited campaign by Democrat Renee Hoyos.

We told you to watch the third iteration of Eddie Smith versus Gloria Johnson for a possible upset for Smith’s House seat. Rumor had it among Republicans that “Eddie’s in trouble” and that turned out to be true by a 56 to 42 percent margin.

The other upset special was Democrat Greg Mackay challenging incumbent Republican state Rep. Martin Daniel. Mackay ran a hard race, including the use of phone banks, and he ran a strong campaign in a Republican district. Unofficially late last night, Daniel appears to have won 51 to 49. Republican Justin Lafferty easily won the open House seat vacated by Roger Kane. Republican Dave Wright easily won the seat of retiring House member Harry Brooks. The rest of the Knox delegation remains the same.

No ad relief: While awaiting state election results, I got to thinking about finally being relieved of watching disgusting television political ads. Now we can return to the regular run-of-the-mill disgusting ads. I have a top five list of ads which either gross me out or make me wonder why sponsors think they are effective.

I can’t believe the guys in pink track suits singing about Pepto-Bismol. They run through all the symptoms that the pink wonder stuff cures. When they get to diarrhea, they make a swipe of their butts. Really?

Then there’s the woman who holds her arm up and dries her underarm stress sweat in the bathroom hand blow dryer. That’s so disgusting I’ve tried to blank out the actual sponsor, which is Secret deodorant.

Then there’s the woman in the plastic shower cap and hard hat trying to get me to eat Honey Nut Cheerios. In addition to her unappetizing appearance one of the ads, mercifully pulled after about a week, had her saying the people down at the store think her body odor smells like cookies, cause, you know, she hangs out in the factory making Cheerios. Ewwww.

It’s not as disgusting, however, as the kid with the Skittles glued all over his face and body, like some sort of candy acne outbreak. And when the girl picks one off and eats it – yeech.

But the one that drives my wife crazy and has led to an edict that we won’t stay in their hotels when we travel is the Badabook, Badaboom Guy. It was sort of interesting the first few times, but now it’s just stupid and annoying.

These ads have run a long time and show no sign of going away. There is no election day to bring them to a halt.

Where’s the fun? Cell phones and laptops have ruined one of our beloved traditions. You know, where you are trying to figure out if you were supposed to spring forward or fall back converting to daylight savings time or back to standard time. You know, those times you went the wrong way and missed church. Or sat in the church parking lot for an hour waiting for everyone else to get there. But the automatic adjustment of our phones and laptops just take all the fun out of it. But you still get to carry your phone around and reset clocks on the stove, the bedside alarm and the coffee pot.

Who did you root for? Saturday night they had a football game to, effectively, determine the SEC west division championship. I assume that most of you did not root for the Crimson Tide to beat LSU. But that left you the option of rooting for Coach O. That would be coach Ed Orgeron who, you may recall, was the right-hand man for Lane Kiffin when the two parachuted into Knoxville to spend a year and leave the UT football program in disarray.

Adios: Last week we lost the irrepressible Rebecca Ferrar, long-time reporter for the Knoxville News Sentinel. We were friends even though I was Republican management scum and she was a Yellow Dog Democrat union president. My first thought when I heard about it is what a hoot it would have been if we were both still in daily journalism and I could have sent her to cover the Trump Rally in Chattanooga on Sunday. It would have been the most fun she’d had since Woodstock. And I would have enjoyed her accounts of the adventure for weeks to come.

Frank Cagle is a retired newspaper man and the former managing editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel. You can reach him at


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