Some media reports preceding Trump’s campaign trip to Nashville to help ‘thrilled’ Blackburn

President Donald Trump’s Tuesday evening trip to Nashville for a Marsh Blackburn fundraiser has been preceded by more national media reporting on Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race, including a Washington Post report suggesting women voters could tilt the race in Democrat Phil Bredesen’s favor.

The article begins with a question posed to Blackburn during a campaign event at the Cumberland County town of Fairfield Glade.

 “How as a woman can you support Donald Trump?” asked Marcia Storrison, a Democratic retiree in this heavily Republican area of hilly green golf courses. “His lies! I believe in facts. . . . I don’t understand how a woman can be supportive of what is going on.”

“Trump is working very hard for us,” replied the Republican congresswoman, touting his record on jobs and the economy.

…In a year when a surging number of female candidates on the left are tapping into support from women such as Storrison, Blackburn — who is facing centrist Democrat and former governor Phil Bredesen in a close Senate race — is taking the opposite tack by embracing the polarizing president.

Blackburn, one of Trump’s most vocal congressional surrogates, shares his hard-line views on immigration and often adopts a similarly pugilistic tone, calling herself “politically incorrect and proud of it.”

…Blackburn’s stance puts her at a distance from many of the women she will need to win over: While 59 percent of male Tennessee voters approve of Trump, only 48 percent of female voters do, according to a Vanderbilt University poll earlier this month.

…Bredesen is ahead in early polls, and many analysts predict the success of Blackburn, the presumptive GOP nominee, could turn on her ability to win over female voters. The Vanderbilt poll showed that 46 percent of women viewed Blackburn favorably, compared with the 72 percent of women who approved of Bredesen.

“They will be one of, if not the, determinant in the race,” said Joshua Clinton, a professor of political science at Vanderbilt. “Gender is going to be a huge component.”

That is a complicated prospect for Blackburn, who asked to be called “congressman” instead of “congresswoman” when she arrived on Capitol Hill and has steered clear of gender in her bid this year — even though she would make history as the state’s first female senator.

When asked in an interview how significant that milestone would be, Blackburn demurred.

“I don’t campaign on the gender issue,” she responded, adding that she is the most qualified person running.

NBC News has a more generalized report that also quotes the Vandy poll and begins with the statement “Marsha Blackburn was a Trump Republican before Donald Trump was a Trump Republican.”

In a Vanderbilt University poll released earlier this month, 69 percent of independent voters viewed Bredesen favorably, to 44 percent for Blackburn. And while just 23 percent of Democrats surveyed had a favorable impression of Blackburn, Bredesen’s favorability rating among GOP voters was more than twice as high, at 52 percent.

“There’s a dramatic overestimation of how conservative the state is,” said Josh Clinton, a Vanderbilt Political Science Professor who co-directed the poll with John Geer. “There are problems in the nation and the state, and people want problem-solvers and solutions, not bomb-throwers and partisan rhetoric.”

Despite Tennessee‘s reputation for being staunchly conservative, a Vanderbilt University poll suggests that the state is split evenly between conservatives (48 percent) and those who identify as moderates (31 percent) or liberals (17 percent). The poll also indicates the state’s attitude towards bipartisanship: 76 percent of voters say they want their representatives to reach across the aisle, even if it means compromising on their own ideology.

The Associated Press sets up the rally with a look at what Trump has been doing for GOP candidates around the country.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump raised the prospect of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe affecting the November elections and blamed Democrats for “Collusion.” On Twitter, he said the “13 Angry Democrats” on Mueller’s team “will be MEDDLING with the mid-term elections, especially now that Republicans (stay tough!) are taking the lead in Polls.” Mueller is a Republican.

Tennessee has a history of electing centrist senators and the race could be complicated by Corker’s up-and-down relationship with Trump. Corker once said Trump had turned the White House into an “adult day care center” and the president tweeted that Corker “couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee.”

Yet Corker was in the Oval Office on Saturday, receiving praise from the president for his help in securing the release of a man imprisoned in Venezuela. The breakthrough happened after Corker held a surprise meeting in Caracas with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

In his final year in the Senate, Corker has called Bredesen a friend and said he won’t actively campaign against him.

Trump, meanwhile, offered an early endorsement of Blackburn in April, calling her on Twitter “a wonderful woman who has always been there when we have needed her. Great on the Military, Border Security and Crime.”

The Tennessean, meanwhile, has a setup story on Trump making his third trip to Nashville since becoming president that includes this comment from Blackburn:

“I think what you’re going to see out of Tuesday night is a lot of excitement from Tennesseans who are so pleased with the agenda that President Trump has pushed forward,” Blackburn said Friday in a telephone interview.

…Blackburn said Tuesday’s rally came together after the president offered her support and selected a date. “We said we would be thrilled,” she said.

14 Responses to Some media reports preceding Trump’s campaign trip to Nashville to help ‘thrilled’ Blackburn

  • Steve L. says:

    MAGA! Ignore Vanderbilt polls. Fake news. And Bredesen was elected Governor after Sundquist convinced Republicans that there were no Conservative candidates left in the party. So why vote…. Will not happen this cycle. Congresswomen Blackburn represents a real choice between Obama era policies of appeasement and abasement to the world and MAGA pride in our countries cultural values. Bredesen=Pelosi=Schumer

  • Tennessee Jed says:

    Steve L. drinking the kool aid. She touted Sundquist’s endorsement like it was something to be proud of. Blackburn = Sundquist 2018. She is just another corporate stooge. Hope you enjoy your slow, expensive internet and worsening opioid epidemic. Blackburn has shown that she is willing to sell out Tennesseans to make a buck time after time.

    • James White says:

      Jed, Steve and Stuart think that an All Republican Senate and House and President will make better laws. However, we have that now and nothing has changed and we have more debt, more spending, more government and less liberty. They are just what you said, out to make a buck.

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    The vaunted Vanderbilt poll that has a “slight” skew toward Republican voters when Tennessee has Republican super majorities in both houses of the General Assembly, all the state wide offices and seven of nine congressional seats. Trump carried 92 out of 95 Tennessee counties while rolling to a 26 point victory over Hilleary while the Vandy poll had him up by only 11 points. The Vandy poll had Berry’s transit plan winning when in fact it went down by a 28 point margin.

    I suggest our liberal friends not take the breathlessly enthusiastic reporting of the Bredesen candidacy by the hopelessly liberal media too seriously at this point in the campaign. Marsha has wisely chosen not to begin her campaign for the NOVEMBER election in earnest as yet. When she does and she begins to run those TV adds showing Bredesen’s face morphing into Schumer’s or any one of the far left loons in the Democratic Senate caucus it won’t even be close.

  • James White says:

    Since Marsha Blackburn is a member of the Transatlantic Partnership Network, her views on trade are not the same as President Trump’s view. She supports all the “free trade” agreements that are dangerous to our sovereignty, and Trump seems to want us out of them. But since Marsha is a member of the TPN, she must support them and Not US !

  • Eddie White says:

    You can’t support Trump’s policies and vote for Bredesen.

  • Steve L. says:

    And I am always open to suggestions from you folks for other candidates. But we never see any names, just “there are other candidates”. Are they “electable” candidates? Are they “flawless” candidates? Are they “trustworthy” candidates? Names folks, names!!! The Republican Party in this state traumatized Conservatives on the way to obtaining Super Majorities. Give her a chance in this post Trump era. She may be the real deal.

    • Tom Humphrey
      Tom Humphrey says:

      Names? Link to the list of all qualified candidates for governor, the U.S. Senate seat and congressional seats (in that order — gov candidates first) is

      Electable? Except for those you’ve already heard about, probably not. They lack money and/or name recognition. And as for being flawless or trustworthy — well, flawless is pretty unlikely — the public will probably never know since they’re unelectable.

      • Steve L. says:

        Thanks, Tom! 35 is an impressive number. 6 Republicans, 3 Democrats, and 26 Independents. Clearly successfully collecting enough signatures to qualify for a run at the Governorship is a reward unto itself. Let the campaigning begin!

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Sorry Steve, I think 35 is an absurd number. Having a ballot that goes on and on page after page of candidates who are not seriously campaigning for the office is a public nuisance. There should be a requirement that “independent” candidates gather a number of signatures related to the number of votes the winning candidate garnered in the last election etc. etc. How about a filing fee of a $500 for the major offices. Anything to take away whatever charge these annoying characters get from seeing their names on the ballot.

          • Steve L. says:

            Sorry, I meant that as slight sarcasm. But that large number does represents how open and free Tennesseans believe the election process is in this state. So that is good. And people will donate $500 to get a certificate saying they are “Honorary Southern Colonels” to be framed and hung on a wall. HA! Right next to the “I Was a Candidate for Tennessee Governor” certificate. I wish we had more competitive Legislative races in Tennessee. My reps Senator Briggs and Representative Bill Dunn need such challengers to keep them focused on their constituents. Trivia: 1,780 folks filed a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission for the 2016 Presidential Election. Wonder how many filed to run in Venezuela, Iran, or Russia?

  • Bob Fischer says:

    Looks to me like all the Blackburn supporters are bringing to the table is mud-slinging and empty rhetoric. Bredeson knows how to balance a budget. Bredeson understands healthcare and will improve Tennesseans lot by entering the national policy making process. Bredeson know how to maintain roads and will bring that expertise back to the maintenance of our interstate system. Bredeson will safeguard our tax dollars and spend wisely. Look at his record. He has shown over an extended period to be competent and capable. Blackburn has nothing to show for her tenure except obstructing government a record deficit and aiding opioid dealer pushers in getting over 900,000 people addicted in Tennessee. Why would we elect an opium pusher to represent us in the Senate?

    • Steve L. says:

      Because she will not be a tool for Schumer and Pelosi. That is all the reasons needed to get my vote. I expect the Tennessee election night coverage this year will hard on some as it was in 2016. And when the ballot dust clears, Bredesen will go home and return to being an uninspiring and very forgettable ex Governor of Tennessee. MAGA!

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