The election is next Tuesday, Nov. 6, and most polls are calling Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race between Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen a toss-up. President Trump must believe that because he’s scheduled his third trip to Tennessee – a weekend rally in Chattanooga.
An email from Bredesen said, in part, “A new NBC/Marist poll just came out that once again shows our race is too close to call.
“As I’ve told you before, the only poll that really matters is on Election Day. But these polls do help make it clear what we’ve known all along – this race will be neck-and-neck until the very end.”
Yet Republican Secretary of State Tre Hargett released Student Mock Election results on Wednesday that show commanding leads for both Republicans – Bill Lee and Blackburn. Over 56,000 students participated with ballots sent to public schools, private schools and home school associations.
In the race for governor, Bill Lee received 36,458 votes (65 percent). Karl Dean received 20,012 votes (35 percent).
In the race for U.S. Senate, Marsha Blackburn received 31,507 votes (57 percent). Phil Bredesen received 23,819 votes (43 percent).
Hargett said the mock election was designed to encourage election involvement among those too young to vote.
I think Hargett’s results are skewed a bit but his winners are likely. A lot will depend on Bredesen’s ability to turn out the vote in Shelby County. And there’s little about his personality or record that inspires excitement. Bredesen is a middle-of-the-road guy, wearing the Democratic Party label; Blackburn is an off-the-edge right winger, wearing the Republican label. She’s a solid vote for all things Trump and that seems to be enough in 2018 to secure her win.
We’ll see sometime on the evening of Nov. 6.
- Harry Tindell has endorsed Eddie Smith for re-election from state House District 13. That’s interesting because Tindell himself held the seat for 20 or so years as a Democrat and Smith is a Republican. Tindell is out of sorts with Gloria Johnson, who supported Knoxville City Council member Lauren Rider over Tindell last year.
- Phil Ballard could be the big loser in the dogfight between the mayor, the sheriff, the county pension board and seven county commissioners versus Law Director Bud Armstrong and four commissioners. The commission will appoint someone to replace Dave Wright, if he resigns as expected after winning election to the legislature on Nov. 6. Ballard, a former commissioner and property assessor, had the inside track but is typically allied with Armstrong and his commission faction. It will be tough for Ballard to find six votes if the majority faction sees him lining up with the Armstrong guys to tip what’s now a 7-4 majority to a much closer 6-5 split.