Tennessee midterm elections: Who is running and why is it a key state to watch?

Lucy Anna Gray
New York
Tuesday 30 October 2018 16:09
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The US midterm elections are fast approaching, and Tennessee is one of the key states to watch.

Although the southern state has been solidly Republican in recent years, there are a few races that could shake things up.

Here’s a brief overview of where both the Senate and House races stand in Tennessee, a look at who’s running for governor, and why this could be a very important state for the Democrats on 6 November

Senate race

It is the Senate race that is most exciting to look out for in Tennessee this year. Former Democratic governor Phil Bredesen, who was in office from 2003 to 2011, will take on Republican Marsha Blackburn.

Although a red state, moderate Democrat Phil Bredesen may be in with a chance. The latest polls, according to Real Clear Politics, suggest Ms Blackburn currently holds a 6.5 per cent lead, but from April to the end of September this year, it was in fact Mr Bredesen that was the favourite to win.

Other predictions put Mr Bredesen in front, with a poll from CNN showing him leading by five points over 50 per cent to Ms Blackburn's 45 per cent.

Democrats only need two states to turn blue to take control of the Senate, making Tennessee a key state to watch. Although with a number of Democrat-held seats up for election across the country, that may be tougher than it looks.

Mr Bredesen is seen as a popular candidate from his previous tenure, as well as strong name recognition, giving him a genuine chance at taking the seat from Marsha Blackburn.

House races

All 99 house seats in Tennessee are up for election this year. There are Republican candidates running in 82 of these districts, with the remaining 17 being safe Democrat seats.

There are also 14 Independent candidates running, none of which are incumbent.

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Governor race

Tennessee is one of 35 states holding an election for governor in 2018. After serving two consecutive terms, Republican Bill Haslam will no longer be Tennessee governor. Running for his party is Bill Lee, taken on by underdog Democrat Karl Dean.

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