In this Sept. 19, 2018, photo, former Tennessee Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen takes part in a roundtable discussion in Nashville, Tenn. Bredesen is a Democrat. But he’d rather you not mention that. So far his strategy of trying to maintain “independence from all of the national Democratic stuff” is working for the two-term Tennessee governor now running for Senate.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Even though the Democrats are in real danger of losing 4-6 Senate seats in states that Donald Trump carried, the media focus has been on the narrative that the GOP will lose control of the Senate.
Dems still have a path to win back the Senate. But it's become narrower after the last 2 weeks.
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) October 10, 2018
(Whispers: The Democrats' least-terrible path to a Senate majority might still involve Heitkamp after all.)
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) October 10, 2018
Because of that, the race to succeed Bob Corker in Tennessee has gotten a lot of attention. That race pits former Representative Marsha Blackburn against a popular former governor, Phil Bredesen. Bredesen is a sort of-conservative, pro-gun, I’d-vote-for-Kavanaugh Democrat who is something of a throwback to an era when Democrats loved America and respected the Constitution.
Blackburn seems to be pulling away in the race. The only poll that showed Bredesen ahead was a, you guessed it, CNN poll from early September. The two most recent polls have Blackburn at +5 and +8. RCP calls it a “toss up” because they average the CNN poll in. Tennessee was Trump +26 and Romney +20. Bredesen was going to have an uphill slog but it looks like the race is slipping away.
And it looks like Bredesen is tacitly acknowledging that fact.
Yesterday, Bredesen went to New York City for a fundraiser with Michael Bloomberg.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) October 10, 2018
So why would a candidate leave Tennessee in the final month before the campaign to go to NYC to be feted by the head of all gun grabbers, Michael Bloomberg? Because this is not going to help him in Tennessee, no matter how much money he raises.
The most logical explanation is that Bredesen is cutting his losses. He was self-financing to a certain extent, $3.5 million of the $8.4 million he raised has come out of his own pocket. A healthy fundraiser would allow him to repay the loans he made to his campaign. There may be some kind of multi-dimensional Chinese checkers being played here but it looks a lot like flopsweat.
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