Coat-tailsHow it will affect the balance of power remains to be seen, but The Tennessean highlighted the potentially huge changes coming to both Houses of the General Assembly this year as a result of the several members (roughly one in ten) choosing not to seek re-election.
A large number of these are Republicans, six from East Tennessee. This year looks to be a good year for the GOP in the legislature, but it is a fair question to ask: How will the national mood effect Tennessee races? Unless the situation changes dramatically between now and November, things do not look good for Republicans in Congress. Very often, such races have a coat-tail effect that punishes local leaders of the same party even though the local leaders may have done a fine job in their posts. It remains to be seen if the coat-tail effect will trickle down to the legislature.
One thing Tennessee Republicans do have going for them is a strong independent streak that runs through Tennesseans to buck the trend. If there is one place the GOP could buck the national trend, it is Tennessee.