Another national media opinion: ‘Hot-button’ Blackburn beats ‘pragmatist’ Bredesen?

Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the national political newsletter Inside Elections, expresses doubt in a Roll Call article about Democrat Phil Bredesen’s prospects for defeating Republican Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race despite polls showing the former governor with an edge in the race so far. An excerpt:

“He was a very good mayor, a very good governor, a very good business person,” (outgoing Sen. Bob) Corker, a former mayor of Chattanooga, said recently. But that reputation may not be enough to elect the Democrat in November.

There is a huge difference between running in a state or local contest and running in a federal race. State and local offices are less about ideology and more about leadership, pragmatism and management skills.

Federal campaigns and elections are much more about “hot-button” issues that divide the parties and the country. That’s why Kansas voters could elect Democrat Kathleen Sebelius as governor in 2002 and 2006 but have not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932.

… (I)n Washington, D.C., Democrats and Republicans have very different ideas about taxes, government, entitlements, abortion rights, gay marriage, gun ownership, immigration and — at least traditionally — government spending. Party allegiance is much more important when voters decide who to send to Capitol Hill.

Bredesen was never seen as a liberal, partisan Democrat, and his early poll numbers suggest that Tennessee voters still regard him as a moderate and pragmatist.

But Republican operatives will unload on the former governor during the next six months, portraying him as a tool of Democratic Senate leader Charles E. Schumer, House leader Nancy Pelosi and every liberal Democrat they can stuff into a television commercial.

Indeed, shortly after Corker offered his complimentary comments about Bredesen, a Blackburn spokesperson responded that “Phil Bredesen will be a solid vote for Chuck Schumer and Obama, Clinton-era liberal policies, and Tennesseans are not interested in that.”

Can Bredesen respond to those charges effectively, or will Republicans succeed in painting him as just another liberal Democrat who will vote with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders?

Unless Bredesen can convince voters that he will be independent, the state’s Republicans and conservatives will return to their default position, which means supporting the GOP nominee.

12 Responses to Another national media opinion: ‘Hot-button’ Blackburn beats ‘pragmatist’ Bredesen?

  • Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    Folks I am going to SAY it again Blackburn could not BEAT MEGAN BARRY. This IS BIG MONEY BLOWING SMOKE. Big MONEY DON’T want to loose their gravy TRAIN and SO THEYCAN continue to SCREW THE TAXPAYERS That’s what it looks like to me. BIG MONEY LET ME TOMMY RAY MCANALLY GIVE YOU A CLUE YOU’RE TIME IS UP.

  • James White says:

    If the voters knew that Marsha voted for many Omnibus bills and many debt limit increases and stimulus packages; they would not vote for her.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Of course they would secure in the knowledge that the only possible alternative will be a Democrat whose economic policies will be so much worse. Unlike you James, the vast majority of voters don’t let the perfect be enemy of the good.

  • bob timmerman says:

    Blackburn is an embarrassment to the great state of Tennessee, and many Repubs would have to hold their noses while casting a vote for her. Bredesen, on the other hand, is a pragmatic centrist who is willing to work with the other side of the aisle to get things done for Tennessee. He’s proven it as mayor, he proved it as governor, and he will make a great U.S. Senator.

    Crossover voters will put Bredesen in the Senate. The fact that Blackburn can’t count on a single Democratic vote in the November election should tell you she’s a big part of Washington’s current problem.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Of course she can’t, only liberals are Democrats and liberals needn’t vote for Marsha, they already have a liberal candidate, Phil Bredesen. Fortunately, Tennessee is so well governed because there aren’t very many liberals who vote in Tennessee.

      If Tennesseans’ are foolish enough to elect him, Bredesen will arrive in the Senate as a 75 year-old one term backbencher. His first vote will be to give control of the Senate to far left Chuck Schumer and his ultra-liberal friends. His subsequent votes will be overwhelmingly liberal like the other “pragmatic centrist” Democrats or he will be one lonely, bored, and just about the least influential Senator in the Senate.

      • James White says:

        Then after the Schumer election, there will be gridlock and that is better than either party controlling Congress.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          If Schumer gets elected, of course, that would be the result of the Democrats controlling the Senate. That’s all we as voters are influencing when voting in the contest between Blackburn and Bredesen. How that furthers your “small government” sentiments is a complete mystery to me when the Democrats are the party of an all devouring federal goliath as compared to the Republicans.

          • James White says:

            Well the Republicans havent reduced and the Democrats havent reduced, the both have Increased Government. If they are gridlock, then at least they may not increase the scope, the power, the cost, and the reach of government because one will want to Increase spending slightly more/less than the other, thus Gridlock.
            Have you noticed the DEBT that is now at 21 TRILLION, oh, THANK YOU CONGRESSMAN MARSHA BLACKBURN, spendaholic #marshablackburn

          • Steve L. says:

            Remember, the Senate can make or break Judicial appointments. (Think perverts in your grand daughters public restrooms or door to door seizures of guns by the state) Gridlock has always benefited the liberals. Real great plan. NOT. And the reason the Republican Party is so pathetic at reducing the debt? We, the people, keep sending folks like Corker, McCain, Flake, and McConnell to the Senate. We need Conservatives sent up there. Like Senator Cotton. And I will vote for Blackburn and Black for elected office before I will do nothing. Whiners are never leaders. They just whine.

          • James White says:

            Well the Republican presidents and senate have approved quite a few Liberals. Just like Masrsha Blackburn , the court nominee sounds conservative, but votes liberal.

            Marsha will do the Republican Establishment’s bidding just as always, just as Alexander and Corker have.

          • James White says:

            “(Think perverts in your grand daughters public restrooms or door to door seizures of guns by the state) ” Well, when is the last time you have seen a bill by the REPUBLICAN congress to limit the jurisdiction of the courts on these items? They will not do that because they want More government and More laws.

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