August 4, 2006

TN Primary A Corker

Bob Corker has won the GOP nomination in the Tennessee primary to see who will attempt to hold Bill Frist's seat in November. Corker took almost half of the vote, easily outpacing his two rivals, who have already conceded:

Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate on Thursday after a bitter primary campaign to decide the party's nominee to replace Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist.

With 82 percent of precincts reporting, Corker had 190,490, or 48 percent of the vote, to Bryant's 136,993, or 35 percent. Hilleary had 64,758, or 16 percent. ...

Corker will face Democratic U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. in November. Ford, who had no serious opposition in the Democratic primary, had 262,115 votes, or 80 percent, with 82 percent of precincts reporting.

Ford, who hosted a Nashville fundraiser Thursday night with former President Clinton, would be the first black U.S. senator elected in the South since Reconstruction.

Corker's win will put a serious dent in Ford's ambitions. Among the three candidates, Ford fares worst against the Chattanooga mayor. According to a Rasmussen poll from July 16, Corker has a double-digit lead against Ford, 49-37. In fact, Ford trailed all three Republicans in head-to-head polling, and suffers a 41% unfavorable rating in Tennessee -- a high but not completely insurmountable obstacle to office.

Ford has two big problems in his run for the Senate -- his family and the state of Tennessee. The Fords had a political dynasty running in the Volunteer State, and as it turns out, his uncle tried turning that into a family business a la the Corleone Family. The feds indicted former State Senator John Ford on bribery and extortion charges after a two-year investigation into his consulting business, topped off with his threats to kill FBI agents involved in the case. None of this involves Harold Ford Jr, but since the seat he now holds got handed to him by his father, family isn't exactly irrelevant in this case.

Ford would have problems in any case due to the conservative nature of Tennessee. Ford himself is a moderate, not given to the wilder positions of his colleagues in the caucus. In fact, Ford supported the war in Iraq, although he has backtracked enough to keep himself clear of the activist Left currently attacking Joe Lieberman. When one looks at Ford's voting record in the House, one again has to wonder why Lieberman -- with his solid record of support for liberal causes -- gets all the wrath and Ford gets all the support. He self-identifies as a Blue Dog Democrat, and has voted to abolish partial-birth abortion (twice) and to restrict interstate transport of minors to get abortions. He voted for a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. He also voted for restrictions on attorney's fees on class-action lawsuits.

Compare that to Lieberman, and the Left looks more and more incoherent every day.

It still won't help, however. Ford's influence has never extended much beyond his Memphis power base, and Tennessee went for George Bush in a big way, 57%-43%. Even Tennessee independents broke sharply to Bush in 2004. Ford faces an uphill battle against Corker, especially now that the primaries have concluded.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference TN Primary A Corker:

» The More Things Change.... from Hard Starboard
Also, say hello to Bob Corker, the man to whom Representative Harold Ford, Jr. will be conceding Bill Frist's senate seat on the evening of November 7th. [Read More]

Please note that unverified Disqus users will have comments held in moderation. Please visit Disqus to register and verify your account. Comments from verified users will appear immediately.