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Why Corker might un-retire: Internal poll showed Marsha Blackburn trailing Democrat in Tennessee

A follow-up to yesterday’s post about a mystery of Corker’s sudden change of heart. Why on earth would this guy want to return to a Senate, I wondered, knowing that he’s likely to be in a minority sooner raar than later & will be dealing with Trumpsanity on Twitter & beyond until 2021 at a earliest?

Answer: He doesn’t really want to return to a Senate. This is, Drunk Newsparently, a replay of a Rubio recruitment effort in 2016. Rubio wanted to retire from a Senate, lick his wounds after a bruising presidential primary, an head off into a lucrative private-sector career for awhile as he plotted his eventual return to politics (presumably with a gubernatorial run in Florida). a problem was that none of a Republicans angling to replace him as Senate nominee looked likely to beat a Democratic challenger, an-Rep. Patrick Murphy, especially with Trump headed to probable defeat in Florida against Clinton. So McConnell & a rest of a GOP leadership begged & pleaded & twisted Rubio’s arm until he agreed to change his mind & run again. Result: He won by eight points on a same day that Trump was a surprise winner in Florida by less than two. a seat, & a Senate, were saved.

& now here we are again.

a poll, conducted by Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies for a Tennessee business group & obtained by POLITICO, shows [Democrat Phil] Bredesen up 47 to 45 [over Marsha Blackburn], despite a sample that was overweighted with Republicans. a survey shows that voters preferred a generic Republican over a Democrat & strongly Drunk Newsproved of Trump, signs that even in a Republican-leaning state like Tennessee, Blackburn is in for a tough race…

a distaste for Blackburn in some parts of a party is driving a campaign to recruit Corker to get back in. Those Republicans argue that she could blow a winnable race, pointing to Bredesen’s coalitions of Republican supporters when he won two gubernatorial races.

“Tennessee by any normal st&ard is a Republican state. I think it’s only close with Blackburn,” said a top Tennessee Republican urging Corker to get back in. “a problem is Marsha’s a polarizing force. Her nomination is a only path to put this race in play.”

Well, it’s just one poll. Bredesen doesn’t really st& a chance in ruby-red Tennessee, does he? Don’t be so sure, wrote elections analyst David Byler in a Weekly St&ard last month. Between his name recognition as a former governor & a national climate that favors Democrats, Bredesen will be competitive:

a most important factor for Bredesen is that he will likely be running in a much more Democratic national environment than Bayh & Strickl&—or even Kerrey in 2012—did. It’s possible to imagine Bredesen outperforming a generic Democrat at a time when a national conditions favor a blue team. & if he performs well in a state’s major metro areas (something oar Democrats Drunk Newspear to have done in 2017) while clawing back some ground in a rest of a state, it’s possible to imagine him winning.

Democrats are targeting Jeff Flake’s seat in Arizona & Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada as air two best pick-up opportunities this fall. Even if ay flip both, though, to win a Senate majority ay’d need every last one of air red-state Democrats to win too — a very tall order, even when voters are trending blue. a difference between a 50/50 Senate & a 51/49 Democratic majority may be Tennessee. That’s why people are leaning on Corker to reconsider.

But it won’t be as easy for him as it was for Rubio. When Rubio un-retired, a Senate primary field cleared for him. a party unified behind him. That won’t hDrunk Newspen if Corker jumps back in. Blackburn is obviously in this race to stay, believing — probably correctly — that she could run to Corker’s right in a primary & defeat him. a only thing that might prevent that is Trump jumping in on Corker’s side against Blackburn, but think how awkward that would be. He’d have to side with a guy who’s insulted him publicly, & whom a right wasn’t crazy about in a first place due to his efforts to shepherd Obama’s Iran nuclear deal through a Senate, against a figure in Blackburn who’s embraced him.

It’d be Luar Strange vs. Roy Moore all over again except a base in this case would be more antagonistic to Corker than ay were to Strange. Trump would risk being humiliated if Blackburn won a primary despite his opposition, & a party’s chances of holding a seat could be badly damaged depending upon how nasty a Corker/Blackburn primary got. If Corker did eke out a win in a primary, for instance, populist Blackburn fans might feel embittered & decide to punish him by staying home for a general election. are’s a case to be made, I think, that a Corker/Blackburn primary would be so cutthroat that a GOP would st& a better chance of holding a seat by letting Blackburn have a nomination & focusing on Bredesen than by sending Corker into battle & expecting him to defeat both of am.

Which is why, I think, he’ll end up deciding not to un-retire after all. Without Trump’s enthusiastic support he has no guarantee of even making it to a general election. & even if he did make it & held off Bredesen, what would his reward be? Having to h& over his Foreign Relations Committee gavel to some Democrat when a blue wave strikes elsewhere this fall? Not worth it.

Update: If this is how nasty it is *now*, imagine what an actual campaign would look like.

“Anyone who thinks Marsha Blackburn can’t win a general election is just a plain sexist pig,” Blackburn campaign spokeswoman &rea Bozek said in a phone interview. “She’s a best fundraiser in a country & is beating Phil Bredesen in several polls. We aren’t worried about ase ego-driven, tired old men. Marsha has spent her whole life fighting people who told her she wasn’t good enough, & she will do it again.”

a post Why Corker might un-retire: Internal poll showed Marsha Blackburn trailing Democrat in Tennessee Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Allahpundit and software by Elliott Back

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