Monday, April 19, 2010

Fall Guy In the First

Democrats have decided to send in another fall guy in Tennessee's First Congressional District:

I suspect that Mike Clark knows the political truth, and that is that Phil Roe won the Republican Primary (and thus the election) in 2008 because he was not David Davis. In 2006, Davis won in a crowded 13-way Republican Primary by 500 votes. Not everyone running against Davis that year could be classified as a true "moderate," and I would argue that most of them were not-but few of them cared much for David Davis, and all knew that Davis was beatable if the personal opposition to him united behind a single candidate-Phil Roe was that candidate. The great irony is that Phil Roe defeated David Davis in the 2008 Republican Primary by a virtually identical margin to Davis' 2006 win in a much more crowded field.

None of that is to say that Democrats who do live here don't deserve to nominate a candidate and to have someone to vote for, but even when they put forth their best effort, the futility of that effort does tend to show from time to time. The Democrats brought forth Rob Russell in 2008, and Russell clearly campaigned hard. He moved around the district, went door to door, and he had campaign help on the ground. Russell's signs were certainly all over my part of the district in eastern Jefferson County and Hamblen County, and to see that many signs for a known Democrat in any part of Jefferson County-in or out of the First District-is almost unheard of (it is more common in Hamblen County, where there are more people who identify as Democrats). Yet, at the end of the day Russell's hardest work was not enough to make a dent in the Republicans elephant-sized majority in the First District. Mike Clark's supposition that the race in the First District isn't all about money does have some truth to it, however...

Both Clark and Rob Russell (who is acting as Mike Clark's campaign treasurer) have the same problem: As Custer was up against too many Indians, they face too many Republicans.

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