First District Upset
| X ||Phil Roe||25916||50%|
The Republican Primary was the biggest surprise of the night, with David Davis losing it by the same margin he won two years ago-500 votes (Note: The Kingsport Times-News is reporting that the numbers were even more slim, with Davis garnering 25, 458 votes).
I voted for David Davis-but I also believe Davis took this race for granted. I watched this race from the ground while just beginning my own campaign in local office that will culminate in November, and Phil Roe just ran the better campaign. Even worse for Davis is the reality that Roe ran a far superior operation in the closing week of the campaign than he did. David Davis believed that his position as an incumbent would save him, but he simply failed to account for Dr. Roe's tenacity, as well as for the fact that he was not elected with any sort of mandate in 2006. He is widely disliked in the First District-and not merely by what passes for the Left around here. There are plenty of conservatives who have long had it out for Davis, and one of his more conservative opponents in the 2006 race privately told me that he could tolerate losing to anyone in the field, but losing to David Davis really goaded him.
Davis simply failed to understand that he is just not that popular, but that he could still win in spite of his unpopularity if he actually campaigned anywhere near as hard as Phil Roe did.
David Davis' biggest problem now is that he isn't blaming his own shortcomings, he is blaming Democrat crossovers for his defeat:
“We believe there was a lot of Democrat switchover vote,” Davis said. “It is legal in the state of Tennessee for Democrats to go switch their allegiance in a primary.
I despise crossover voting. As a matter of principle, I will not vote in a Democratic Primary, even if all of the Republican races are unopposed. I do not believe it is my place to have a say in who the Democratic Party should nominate since I am not a Democrat, nor do I believe Democrats should be able to have a say in nominating Republicans.
However, until we wise up in Tennessee and close our primaries, crossover voting will be a reality in any congressional race in the First District. Democrats know that the Republican Primary is the only game in town, and the Congressman from the First District will always emerge from that contest. Until our laws are changed, a candidate should prepare for the inevitability of crossover votes and plan a strategy to deal with them.
David Davis lost this race, and for the blame he must look in the mirror.