Is Tennessee the Key to Control of the Senate?

The Democrats need to win six Republican seats to control the Senate. I'm no numbers cruncher, but most seem to agree Missouri, Virginia and Tennessee are the hot states to watch.

With polls showing that the war may strongly influence many voters' decisions, analysts in both parties agreed that Missouri, Virginia and Tennessee are the keys to controlling the 100-member Senate, where Democrats need to gain six seats to claim the majority

I'm wondering whether Harold Ford can carry Tennessee. He would be the first African-American elected to the Senate from the South in more than a century. Republicans have funded tons of last minute advertising dollars into his opponent Bob Corker's camaign.

Corker recently put a few million of his own funds into the campaign. And he has more ads than Ford.

Corker ran more television ads from Aug. 1 to Oct. 15 than anyone running for the U.S. Senate this year, Nielsen Monitor Plus reported this week. Corker aired 12,007 ads compared with Democrat Harold Ford Jr.'s 7,239 ads, the ratings agency noted.

Ford has been able to keep pace with Corker's fund-raising because independent groups have pumped $10.9 million into the Senate race. More than $7 million was spent in behalf of or against the Memphis congressman.

In their most recent filings of contributions from individuals, Corker had raised $13.1 million to Ford's $10.9 million. Those figures came before Corker made his recent loan.

There's also been heavy early voting in Tennessee. And Obama and McCain will be campaigning this weekend.

Sunday, both candidates plan large events in Nashville. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois will appear at a Ford event, while Senators John McCain and Lamar Alexander will campaign on behalf of Corker.

To me, and again, I'm no numbers cruncher, but Tennessee seems crucial to the Democrats.

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    Ultra-right-wing campaign of Harald Ford (none / 0) (#1)
    by Andreas on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 02:06:01 AM EST
    Sorry for a longer posting. But it is necessary to point out that Harald Ford is an ultra-right-wing politician.

    The WSWS writes:

    Harold Ford, a congressman from Memphis, is bidding to become the first black senator to be elected by popular vote from a southern state (senators were chosen by the state legislatures until the passage of the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution in 1913). The son of a long-time congressman from Memphis, Ford is arguably running the most right-wing campaign of any candidate nominated by the Democratic Party for this year's Senate contests.

    He is one of only a handful of Democrats who continues to defend his vote in 2002 to authorize the war in Iraq, when he was among those House Democrats who followed the lead of Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, an enthusiastic proponent of the Iraq war. When Gephardt subsequently retired to pursue an unsuccessful presidential bid, Ford ran for the post of House minority leader, calling the eventual victor, Nancy Pelosi, too liberal, particularly because she had voted against the war.

    Since then Ford has been adamant about his pro-war views. He has endorsed Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, the avidly pro-war Democrat who is running for reelection as an independent, over Ned Lamont, who won the state's Democratic primary in August by appealing to anti-war sentiment. Ford has called for an even more aggressive US intervention in Iraq, urging the partitioning of the country into three autonomous zones, Sunni, Shia and Kurd, under a relatively powerless central government that would be wholly dependent on US support.

    The Wall Street Journal editorial board noted approvingly (October 26), "Mr. Ford's votes for the war in Congress, and his willingness to talk about the need for it, has certainly resonated better than have the `credentials' of the many war vets Democrats recruited to run elsewhere."

    Ford has adopted a right-wing posture on social and cultural issues as well, including opposing abortion, calling for a greater role for religion in public life, and supporting constitutional amendments to ban flag-burning and gay marriage.

    One campaign commercial--highly praised by the left-liberal journal the Nation--is actually filmed in the sanctuary of a Baptist church in Memphis, with a large white cross on a red tapestry in the background. Ford uses this setting to denounce Republican claims that he is a liberal at heart, declaring, "I voted for the Patriot Act, five trillion in defense, and against amnesty for illegals."

    Ford has assiduously cultivated the support of Christian fundamentalists and the right wing of the Republican Party, voting for Bush's tax cuts and telling the Rotary Club in Cleveland, Tennessee, "I get in trouble with Democrats because I like President Bush."

    The Democrats in the 2006 elections: the second party of reaction and war
    Part one, By Patrick Martin, 4 November 2006

    Tennessee (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 02:21:48 AM EST
    "For some strange reason it had to be
    He guided me to Tennessee"

    The Old Confederacy is no place to be looking for progress from. Not 'til they unionize that hellhole at least. Too many gun nuts. Too many Christofascists. Sorry.

    "Take me to another place
    Take me to another land"

    Yes, it's the key (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 07:40:52 AM EST
    No, Ford will not win it.  He's black and that ends the discussion.

    And, I'm speculating the story about missing Diebold cards arose out of Memphis for a reason - Ford's family is prominent in Memphis politics and has been for a long time.  The Republicans have long been trying to tie him to them, particularly a relative whose federal political corruption-related trial is just coincidentially supposed to be starting about now.  There seems to be building a Repug post-election-night-debacle story of "we lost because the Democrats stole the election with those crummy, hackable computerized election machines".  The only reason the MSM is giving any coverage to the stealable elections is because they, and the Rethugs, know the Rethugs are going to lose.  So a dozen Diebold cards (the most hackable things going, apparently) going missing fits right in with the story they're building.  Those cards will show up, and be part of lots of post-election litigation.

    Mark my words.  

    Voter fraud (1.00 / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 10:45:38 AM EST
    In Shelby county they have confirmed that they know of two people who voted twice in early voting and they have 363 people who have voted for the first time in 10 years. I understand the 363 supposedly were removed from the polls years ago for none voting...

    Ford will have to carry Memphis and Nashville with something like a 80%... Looks like the Demos are gonna give it a real shot.


    2 out of how many (none / 0) (#5)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 11:50:20 AM EST
    total votes cast? That's micorscopic.  

    Also how do you know the fraudulent voters weren't Republicans voting twice for Corker?

    Is this the best argument you can muster?


    Ilegal actions (1.00 / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 07:25:39 PM EST
    So you condone illegal actions?

    Haberdashery? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Nov 04, 2006 at 08:40:08 PM EST
    Apparently Jim's haberdasher is Reynolds Wrap.