Nov 8 2006
12:23 pm

The new face of Tennessee in the United States Senate. Doesn't it just make you proud? It has never been more true that we get the politicians we deserve.

Nov 8 2006
11:56 am
By: StaceyDiamond  shortURL

I really hate that Harold didn't win, I've been more impressed with him as anybody since Clinton. I wonder if without the incident at the Memphis airport, around the same week Corker got a new campaign manager, he could have got the votes he needed. I guess its a testament to how much things have changed since 04 that he did this well. It feels good to have a two party system again and VOl Heath Shuler won in N.C. Schree ran a good race and is a good person, I haven't heard how that final Downtown West count went. As for Stacey, I know him a little from his tv show. At least in his race against Gary Drinnen I'm glad that all the money and influence of the Ragsdale crowd could not buy that seat or Thomas Deakins' school board seat or Lumpy's seat. I like to see a few anti-establishment folks get in from either side. Stacey


Steve at WhitesCreek already said pretty much everything I was thinking below, and he said it better.

I will add a couple of things. Ford probably ran the best campaign in the modern history of Tennessee politics to make this race close. I don't think anyone would have expected this back when Kurita dropped out of the primary. I know I didn't.

Turnout was key, for both sides -- low turnout for Democrats, and big turnout for Republicans. Republicans had an extra hurdle because many in their ranks are dissatisfied with the current crop in D.C. and either crossed over or abstained. But the well-oiled GOP machine worked, as usual. The anti-gay marriage amendment probably helped, too. 6% higher Democrat turnout and we'd be celebrating a Ford victory this morning. 10% and we'd be celebrating a landslide.

The mainstream media and the liberal blogs will talk about Tennessee as being a backwoods racist enclave. If they were from here, though, they'd realize that for a black man, from Memphis, named Ford no less, with a ten year Congressional record to defend against a guy with deep pockets and no record, to get nearly 875,000 votes is quite an accomplishment. Not to mention that he's a Democrat running a statewide campaign in Tennessee.

Race was only one "obstacle" to overcome, yet Ford got 150,000 more votes than Clement in 2002, and nearly as many votes as Alexander. There's not much doubt that race played some small role, but only the bigots in the darkest recesses of their poisoned souls know for sure.

So besides turnout and the racist "x" factor, what happened?

Some point to the "Memphis Meltdown". I thought it could go both ways, with the MTV crowd reacting favorably to the "in your face" attitude v. more mature and serious voters being put off by it. In that sense it should have been a wash, but unfortunately the MTV crowd doesn't vote. Anecdotally, I know of at least a couple of R votes that this stunt cost Ford.

The negative attack ads against Ford seemed to be a factor. The nastier they got the better Corker's numbers got in the polls, so everyone generally agrees they work. Maybe Ford should have hit back harder.

And maybe he should have attacked the generic GOP record harder, especially on Iraq and foreign policy, and done a better job of rubber-stamping Corker with it. It worked everywhere else, even against incumbents. I thought Ford was pretty effective on this in the debates, but that was early on and two of them competed with UT football games, so in the end it was all about the ads. (Corker gets credit for his debate strategy.)

And it's too bad we didn't get to talk much about the other issues, because Ford is pretty strong on things that matter to working people such as health care and education.

Ford and his supporters must also wonder if running so hard to the right cost him some votes among the party faithful. I'm guessing it did, but I'm not sure it cost him 50,000 votes. It may have cost the Democrats some turnout, though. His refusal to support the Democratic succssor to his 9th district Congressional seat probably cost him some votes, too.

At any rate, a lot of Democrats (including me) were going along with the program for the greater good of a Congressional majority. There won't be any liberal Democrats elected to statewide office in Tennessee in my lifetime. And as many have noted, when faced with a choice between a faux-Republican and the real deal, Republican voters will go with the real deal every time, and they will get out to the polls.

So I don't think there's any one thing you can point to, except that Ford ran a hell of a campaign and he almost pulled it off against incredible odds. For that, he and his campaign should be proud.

On the bright side, elsewhere we are looking at a majority in the House and we are one recount and a lawsuit away from a majority in the Senate. And who knows? Maybe some of the national attention focused on Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee helped that effort.

OK, then.

Nov 8 2006
09:57 am

Despite being outspent three or four to one, Representative Stacy Campfield won by double digits.


Nov 8 2006
09:32 am
By: SayUncle  shortURL


Nov 8 2006
09:28 am
By: WhitesCreek  shortURL

Harold Ford Jr. ran a great race against tremendous odds with a very significant financial disadvantage. I wonder what the actual talley is? hard to count the Swift boat money, NRA money, etc. Regardless, I am saddened by our loss.

Insiders seem to give the Race card a 3-5 point value but I don't think it is quite that big. But, after seeing how close the Virginia Senate Race is, with George Allen being an absolute pig, I think the Gay Marriage Amendment brought out a certain demographic that marches to the same quaint drum. Is that stated delicately enough?

I feel deeply that something has been shown, maybe not to the rest of the country, but to ourselves by the closeness of this race. Bob Corker could not have won on his record or the greater issues in Tennessee. He won on the lingering fear of Tolerance. Remember that racism and bigotry are not embodiments of hate but rather of fear. Can we continue the conversation we in this state have started about erasing our old fears? The Boogie Man will not get us. We will get ourselves if we don't wake up to our ignorance and keep pushing that red button over there.

Tennessee Democrats lost an election but we can recognize that we are part of something bigger. Harold Ford Jr. ran his race on a very inclusive platform, parts of which I don't like, but he tried to bring Tennessee together in spite of our incompatabilities on the surface. We could not come together this time but time screams by and soon it will be next time. We are strengthened and prepared.

We have restored the Two Party System for the moment and that is good for our Nation. For now, there is work to do. Corporations will see this as a mere setback to the "Corporations Good, We the People, Bad" ideology if we don't stay vigilant. So for now...Rest up, take a walk, listen to a lot of music, and come out ready to win hearts and minds.




Nov 8 2006
09:09 am
By: metulj  shortURL

Via KnoxBlab.

Anyhow, while I feel for his daughter (no kid wants to see their Dad told "Get lost."), this picture is more representative of how America isn't, than anything else. Bennett's pronouncement of a Santorum presidential run floored me with laughter last night.

Nov 8 2006
08:56 am

Among those I remember hearing raving about Harold Ford, Jr., some at length, more than once:

Chris Matthews, J.C. Watts, James Carville, Barak Obama, Don Imus.

One CNN reporter did a report on the race and said something to the effect of "Corker won a Senate seat, but Ford has established himself as a political rock star."

Conversely, Corker seems to be damaged goods nationally, especially if he doesn't show more as Senator than he did as candidate. The only commentary I heard about him (other than that he won) was how nasty the campaign was and how much of his own money he spent.

Nov 8 2006
07:30 am

In terms of total votes, turnout for the 2006 Tennessee senate race set a new mid-term record at 1,817,786 votes, an increase of 11% over 2002's 1,637,671 votes.

Turnout was 75% of the 2004 presidential election (2,437,280 votes). In comparison, 2002 mid-term turnout for the Tennessee senate race was 79% of the 2000 presidential election.

The race was closer, with Corker 51% v. Ford 48% as compared to Bush 57% v. Kerry 43% in 2004. Apparently Corker is not as popular as Bush in Tennessee and Ford is more popular than Kerry.

But seriously, I wonder if the lower GOP margin is a reflection of growing Republican dissatisfaction with the Bush administration, Republicans in Congress, or both?

And one more footnote: Alexander won with a bigger margin in 2002 at 54% v. Clement's 44%.

Nov 8 2006
07:19 am

Here's an interesting tidbit from the Knox Co. breakdown by precinct.

If I'm reading it right, Ford carried the City of Knoxville precincts by 57% to Corker's 42% (24,241 for Ford, 18,041 for Corker, 600 for other).

In Knox County precincts, Corker won 63% to 36% for Ford. Overall, Corker won Knox County by 56% to Ford's 43%.

(These numbers do not include the stranded 2625 votes from the malfunctioning Downtown West counting machine.)

Nov 8 2006
07:01 am

We have a three-way tie for the 2006 KnoxViews Political Progrnosticator Award. CBT, Number9, and BrettP all correctly predicted Corker by 3 points. Congratulations to the winners.

There were 19 predictions for Ford and 18 for Corker. The median point spread prediction was 4.5 for Corker and 4 for Ford. Twelve people predicted Ford at 3 or less.

Nov 8 2006
03:21 am
By: bill young  shortURL

jr run a helluva of a race

Nov 8 2006
03:06 am
By: Bbeanster  shortURL

HFJ made the most remarkable concession speech I can ever recall.

I'd been thinking all day that if he lost, he should think about doing it all over again in two years when Lamar is up for re-election. And lo and behold, he hinted that he's going to try again. That was not a beaten man talking. I don't agree with him on a lot of things, but I really, really like this young man. I think that he is sincere in his religious views, and I think he has uncommon gifts.

Lamar will be 68.
He is not beloved.
He hasn't even said he's running again.
he's another dried-up old Republican who's become a multimillionaire while being a public "servant."

Do it, Junior.
Take the bar exam. You know you didn't really study last time. Practice some law, get a TV gig doing political commentary. Make up with Steve Cohen. Think about settling down with one of those gazillion women who adore you. We'll save our yardsigns, and my dad'll keep the Ford bumper sticker on the back of his truck.


Nov 8 2006
12:06 am

It wasn't walking on water, but Charlie Crist walked on George W. Bush's face when he refused to be seen with him while running to succeed his brother as governor of Florida. It was Republicans like Crist who finally gave the overdue sign from within the party that the President is out of control. Republicans here at KnoxViews have refused to address the many substantive episodes of corruption, law breaking and negligence by the Executive Branch, essentially doing just what Crist did, giving no quarter to a lying theives. Good for them!

A big thank you to Republicans for abandoning your President. You won't regret it. A party can not survive corruption on this scale, and I'm heartened that enough of you recognized the disease and gave the House of Representatives, the chamber with the power to impeach a President, to the Democrats.

And you gave up your Katherine Harris habit! I'm so happy for you guys. 


Nov 7 2006
10:19 pm
By: bill young  shortURL

378(early vote)+409(today)=787 total vote..we had a great day in the fort signs out numbered republican signs 20 to 5...we had alota help & joe armstrong dropped by .. i think our ticket..phil,joe & jr all won

Nov 7 2006
08:41 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

We will post news here as it is available. Feel free to add your comments.

UPDATE: Never mind. Just go here and keep hitting refresh. (Brought to you by Exxon/Mobil according to the banner ads. Are they talking about the election or just the returns?)

UPDATE: Knox Co. numbers expected here soon.

UPDATE: WOW! Look at this:
Hamilton, 10% of precincts reporting:
Corker 20,749 50%
Ford, Jr. 20,460 49%

UPDATE: Corker pulling away in Hamilton:
Hamilton 75% of precincts reporting
Corker 45,055 52%
Ford, Jr. 40,591 47%

UPDATE: Knox County early vote in:
Ford 43.39%
Corker 55.61%

Tennessee House 18th
Schree 43.68%
Campfield 52.79%

UPDATE: Looks like Ford may have done what he needed to do in East Tennessee? Is it up to Davidson, Shelby and some key rural counties now? This could get interesting.


Nov 7 2006
07:12 pm

Spot checked a few representative precincts around Blount Co. between 4:30 PM and 5:30 PM. It's raining pretty steady, but it does not seem to have affected turnout. Not sure if this is good or bad for HFJ. The guys at the Blount Dem HQ were hoping for buckets of rain. At any rate, it looks like a record mid-term turnout in Tennessee.

Workers at all precincts reported steady and higher than expected turnout, slowing some after lunch but picking up after work as expected. Lines were growing and people were pouring in at each location at 5 PM.

Here are some numbers (does not include early voting):

MLK: approx. 400 voters, higher than usual according to one worker. Approx. 16 in line. (2004: Kerry 435, Bush 225.) UPDATE: Ford 407, Corker 134.

Maryville Elementary (West Maryville, think Farragut): 715 voters (one worker said they usually only have about 500 for a mid-term), 30+ in line, five machines. Saw one guy leave after not finding a parking place. (2004: Kerry 371, Bush 829.) UPDATE: Ford 553, Corker 1020.

William Blount Middle (partly suburb, partly rural, possibly troubling): 1000+ voters, 75 or so in line, eight machines. They had trouble with the machines there this morning. Some people may have left without voting and other reports of voters waiting two hours. (2004: Kerry 496, Bush 1267.) UPDATE: Ford 699, Corker 1265.

First Baptist Family Life (Alcoa, mixed/blue collar): 823 voted, 50 in line, five machines. (2004: Kerry 410, Bush 1007.) UDPATE: Ford 596, Corker 965.

NOTE: 2004 numbers do not include early voting, which were not reported by precinct.

If you know any Democrats who have not voted, you need to get them to the polls in the next hour and a half. UDPATE: Never mind.

Nov 7 2006
07:01 pm

Dave's Longbox has the answer. I liked this one:


“Hulk just want to be left alone.”


Via MyDD:


Unconfirmed Senate exit polling info:

Democrats leading in:
VA: 53-46
RI: 53-46
PA: 57-42
OH: 57-43
NJ: 53-45
MT: 53-46
MO: 50-48

Republicans leading:
TN: 51-48
AZ: 50-46

Treat as VERY EARLY info.


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