May 18 2007
09:14 pm

In four days I will finally be a Tennessee resident. I've already arrived in spirit, I suppose, but I'm always curious about the odd nooks and crannies of the Volunteer State. One thing I've always wonderered is: what is the most conservative place in Tennessee?

Remember, this may or may not also be the most Republican place considering Tennessee's unique Civil War heritage where many moderate East Tennesseans vote Republican and conservative West Tennesseeans vote Democratic. And you can't judge it simply by virtue of a particular legislator from the district: West Knoxville, home of Stacy Campfield, is not nearly as conservative as the legislator who represents it (though it's still a fairly conservative place). Consider both economic and religious issues.

My pick would be Cleveland, TN. Not only did Bradley County give the highest percentage vote of any county to Jim Bryson, but the city is the worldwide home to its own Pentecostal Church. What do you all think?

R. Neal's picture

I would say Blount Co., but

I would say Blount Co., but you already knew that and decided to move here anyway! Heh.

But seriously, welcome to TN. We should all get together and have a brewsky or something to welcome Elrod and thank him for helping make the state a little more blue, one drop at at a time.

Rachel's picture



Socialist With A Gold Card's picture

Rachel, I'll see your Dayton

Rachel, I'll see your Dayton and raise you a Sneedville. Or maybe New Market.

--Socialist With A Gold Card

"I'm a socialist with a gold card. I firmly believe we need a revolution; I'm just concerned that I won't be able to get good moisturizer afterwards." -- Brett Butler

edens's picture

Sneedville isn't so much

Sneedville isn't so much conservative as lost in the land that time forgot.

Rachel's picture

Ya'll is also east

Ya'll is also east Tennesseee. Both my parents and most of my 18 first cousins grew up here and they all grew up saying ya'll.

Edens is right about Sneedville.

And New Market - nah - I'm related to about half of Jefferson County (my mother, who grew up in Jefferson City, had 72 first cousins). It's conservative of course, but far from the top of the list.

Socialist With A Gold Card's picture

I'd say the most

I'd say the most conservative area of Tennessee is the region roughly following I-81 from Knoxville to Bristol. It's not really a place per se, but more like a corridor. The farther northeast you go in this state, the more reactionary it seems to become. I could be wrong, but that's always been my perception.

Bristol, Kingsport, Greeneville, et al. are just about as Baptist as they get. Considering its relative size, Johnson City does have a pretty sizeable gay population (for some reason which I've never fully understood), and Morristown has its occasional moments. However, those cities along the drive to the Virginia border are redder than red.

--Socialist With A Gold Card

"I'm a socialist with a gold card. I firmly believe we need a revolution; I'm just concerned that I won't be able to get good moisturizer afterwards." -- Brett Butler

Socialist With A Gold Card's picture


Elrod, if you're going to move down here among us, you're going to have to learn proper English. "You all" is correctly spelled and pronounced "y'all." ;-)

--Socialist With A Gold Card

"I'm a socialist with a gold card. I firmly believe we need a revolution; I'm just concerned that I won't be able to get good moisturizer afterwards." -- Brett Butler

Socialist With A Gold Card's picture


Sorry, Metulj; that ain't exactly right.

"You" is singular. Always.

"Y'all" is plural. Always.

"All y'all" is also plural. The "all" is added either for larger groups or for emphasis with smaller groups. Examples:

When speaking before a large group: "All y'all can go on over to the tent for some refreshments."

When speaking to a small group, but for emphasis: "All y'all can kiss my ass."

You got the Union County part right, though I've never figured out how to spell it. "You'uns" and "you'ns" seem almost polysyllabic, which it ain't. "Y'uns" seems to be missing a vowel. "Yunz" is closer to the correct pronunciation but is etymologically screwy.

--Socialist With A Gold Card

"I'm a socialist with a gold card. I firmly believe we need a revolution; I'm just concerned that I won't be able to get good moisturizer afterwards." -- Brett Butler

lovable liberal's picture

All y'all is ...

... a double positive, but "y'all" is plural, and it's a Middle and West Tennessee form. "You'ns" is the East Tennessee second person plural pronoun. Only Yankees (that is, non-Southerners) mistake either for a singular.

Me, I've got dual citizenship.

Liberty and justice for all.

Andy Axel's picture

That's a real

That's a real Foote-slapper.


Deliver this message to the one I love the most:
"I've lost all my money to a 300 pound ghost."
Squeaky was a sad child; the product of neglect.
Got stoned by a jellyfish demanding her respect...

John Shuck's picture

Carter County

I think Carter County should get a vote for most conservative. I love the place and the people, but they did vote 88% in favor of the anti-gay "marriage amendment." Hey, there is a market here for the 12%!

WhitesCreek's picture

All yall ain't got nothing

All yall ain't got nothing better to worry about than how real Americans talk?

And ain't hyphenated. Hyphens were brought in a carpet bag sometime after the War of Northern Agression.

I second Dayton. Down the street from me and it's a fascinating place. Deeply weird, but fascinating.

fletch's picture

All I know is that when I

All I know is that when I voted in Sevier County last November the U.S. House seat was open and the Republican on the ballot was unopposed. I wrote in my own name for the seat so at least I can tell my grandchildren (and children if I ever have any) I got at least one vote for Congress.

redmondkr's picture

I have a recording of an

I have a recording of an interview with that famous Southern historian discussing his friendship with Walker Percy. It was broadcast on CSPAN several years ago and I have transferred it from my original 8mm tape to DVD.

He spoke of the mechanics of writing his epic Civil War trilogy and told of a time when he wrote to Percy telling him about a visitor who had interrupted him as he was "killing off" Abraham Lincoln.

The man was a joy to listen to and, I'm sure, a joy to meet.

Come See Us at

The Hill Online

edens's picture

Just FYI, Cleveland I

Just FYI, Cleveland I believe is worldwide headquarters of two Pentecostal religions, depending on whether you like your Church God with or without a side of prophecy.

William Jennings Bryan, btw, is still something of a local hero just down the road in Dayton, home of Bryan College:


Elrod's picture

Worldview Teams?

Well, if you ever wanted any proof that fundamentalist Christianity was a cult, just read through the documents at Bryan College. The author openly equates "worldview" with the term "ideology," and probably accurately. How is this any different from Mao's Little Red Book or the various other forms of Communist propaganda? I don't think I've ever seen fundamentalism so nakedly propagandistic as this before.

Bbeanster's picture

Reminds me of a John Bean

Reminds me of a John Bean story.

He was eating lunch with some friends at the Captain D's in Fountain City. They got up to leave and as he was walking out the door he smiled his big old killer smile (he was a handsome devil), cleared his throat to get the attention of the room and said "Fuck yu'uns each and ever' one." and walked out. It was dangerous to go anywhere with him.

When they got to the car, he realized he'd left his briefcase in the restaurant.

He tried to get one of his pals to go get it, but they refused, and stood around the parking lot laughing their butts off when he had to go back for it.

His pranks didn't often backfire on him, and everybody always treasured the rare moments when he embarrassed himself. Course he probably sweet-talked the manager and left with a pocketfull of coupons --

I guess it was the yu'uns usage that reminded me. Anyhow, that's just the way John rolled -- mad, bad and dangerous to know.

Stick Thrower's picture


Probably ought to give a nod to Rhea County too. Historically it deserves at least an honorable mention for the Tennessee area displaying the less admirable attributes of conservatism. (although it could probably be better charactarized as ignorant, well-intended bumfuckedness)

Bbeanster's picture

Two words: June GriffinThe

Two words: June Griffin

The fact that that crazy old bat lives in Dayton alone qualifies that town as the state's #1 Loony Bin, even without the historical boost of the Scopes trial (which admittedly is substantial).

June is a piece of work. She's been up here to enlighten out county commission a time or two, and she's crazy as a rat in a coffee can.


Rachel's picture

June Griffin

Honey, that ain't two words, that's a whole mouthful.

I sat next to her at an Earth Day thing at UT one time - boy, was THAT interesting.

Bbeanster's picture

What was June doing here on

What was June doing here on Earth Day?

there's GOT to be a great story attached to that one.


Elrod's picture

Thank all y'all

Well, I posted this question late last night, went out for a good-bye-to-Michigan party today and found that a lot of folks chimed with some good'uns. I'm extremely excited to make Blount County one vote bluer than before (actually two because my wife is solidly liberal and Democratic too). My folks may be moving down in a year or so from northern Virginia and that'll make two more blue votes. Anyway, I'd love to meet up with all y'all.

Anyway, interesting to see that Dayton is still as reactionary as ever. Didn't some nimrod in Rhea County try to ban gay people from coming into the county or something? I thought somebody would say Brentwood or Collierville or some other rich suburb of Nashville or Memphis. But yeah, Dayton is the real deal.

BTW, I wonder what June Griffin thinks of rebel flags flying on Maryville High School football game days :) If she's legit, she thinks "Treason!" Otherwise, she's a fraud.

P.S. On the term "you'uns": it's actually a common expression in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania of all places. And it is plural.

PA Patriot's picture

Yinzer not you'uns in Pittsburgh

Elrod, you are incorrect sir. I am a transplant from PA (Philly) and did a lot of work in Pittsburgh (great city BTW)and the term you are mistakenly referring to there is "YINZ"...NOT "you'uns. The noun is Yinzer and it actually has a dual meaning now. A yinzer is some one who would use the term yinz because they are from the more rural outskirts of Pittsburgh and not from the cosmopolitan (liberal) city itself. Its also a generic term for ANYONE from outside of the city and refers to a country bumpkin/redneck/hillbilly/or any other stereotype that overly educated snobbish liberals tend to use to describe anyone who was not born with a silver spoon in his/her mouth or who is not trendy or a hipster or a yuppie or yippie libtard. Lol. Just correcting you for the record sir! Lol. BTW...been here in TN for almost 3 years now. LOVE IT. Hate the clubs in Nashville who are trying to change it and overrun it. I'll be relocating to a more red county soon. Wish me luck. Tired of the fakers in Nashville. Just want the real deal! Mayor Dean is a fraud! Went soft on the occupy commie protesters who blocked Broadway during Ferguson nonsense! Gave them hot chocolate when they blocked the interstate. Silly! Not a fan of liberal politics. That's why I moved here from the cursed northeast! But the damn libs are like locusts. They ruin one place and then move on to another! Ughhh! You need to quarantine them. That's why Baltimore failed. Typical liberal policies. P.C. appointments to unqualified Marxist tools! BEWARE TN....they are targeting you now! Don't fall for it. Stand your ground. They are clever impisters. They try to buy their way in like the mob! Just say in y'all. Stay RED!

Joe P.'s picture

Very interesting

A very interesting question. Rather than ramble on and on here in the comments, I did my own post to respond. Read at your own risk .... hint: my answer is the entire 1st District ...

mjw's picture

You'uns vs. y'all

In East Tennessee, y'all is city and you'uns is country for the most part.

Elrod's picture

"Family Values"

I noticed the website for the Dayton, Tennessee Strawberry Festival "offers a chance for our community to showcase its beauty, history and commitment to family values." Now let's think about this for a second. How the hell does a strawberry festival showcase a "commitment to family values?" Can the term "family values" have any meaning in this context? Is this code for "Gay strawberry lovers not welcome!" Is the term "family values" just a politically correct (for the Right) throwaway line in order to encourage the overly churched to come out for such a secular purpose as celebrating the strawberry? What is the point of mentionting it?


cooperhawk's picture

family values

I take it "family values" doesn't turn you on?

Bbeanster's picture

Who picks those lucious berries?

Look at the pictures on the Website. Everybody's white and happy. Not a black face among them, nor, more significantly, not a brown face, either. Who you reckon works those strawberry fields?

Elrod's picture


It depends on what it means. That I like to do things with my wife and two kids? Then yes, I love family values. If it means chastising anybody in a non-traditional family then I don't share those "family values." But still, how exactly does a strawberry festival showcase family values? It seems like conservative PC run amuck.

redmondkr's picture

Hate is not a family

Hate is not a family value.

Come See Us at

The Hill Online

cooperhawk's picture

Hate is not a family value.

Whose are we talking about? Theirs or your?

kcandaele's picture

Most conservative place

Dear All Y'all,

I'm a liberal from the People's Republic of Santa Monica. I'm also a documentary film maker. Anyway, I thought some of you could help with a movie project I'm starting. Here's the idea. I'm part of a very liberal baseball (not softball) team here in Santa Monica, a bunch of old guys, post 45 years and older, that will be taking to the road soon to play conservative teams in some of the most Republican districts across the country. We're filming the games as we go, getting at the blue red divide via America's game. We don't dare beat anyone, that would be humiliating the "other." And out here in the People's Republic, we're so liberal we even recycle our guilt. I'm trying to find a town that would field a baseball team to play us and would be willing to be filmed, interviewed, etc. It's just a way to get at the divisions in our country in a fun way, before the politicians start getting nasty and screw up another election year. Any chance that we could find a baseball/softball team that might cooperate? What towns would you suggest I contact? Remember, must be conservative. I love some of your suggestions already.

Thanks a bunch for your help.

kerry candaele
venice, ca

talidapali's picture

Good luck with the project...

Now if you was talkin' football...

But seriously, there are probably quite a few community leagues that could accommodate you here in East Tennessee, try checking with the Chambers of Commerce of various counties mentioned above, they might be able to turn you onto the local sports leagues. could just show up at local sports bars around here, someone there will probably know a team that would fit the bill.


"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"

"I never said I wasn't a brat..." ~ Talidapali

Up Goose Creek's picture

9 Conservatives

And you came to this blog to find a conservative baseball team because.....?

I guess you could find 9 conservatives here if you scratched around in all the corners. But why would you think they all played baseball?

Like Taldipali said, there are lots of amateur baseball teams. But would all 9 members consider themselves conservative?

We may be a little more integrated than you think.

Less is the new More - Karrie Jacobs

kcandaele's picture


To answer your questions: 1. I found this discussion on consrvative places in Tenn. by accident, a google fluke, but a nice one. It seemed like the people responding to the question actually have a good idea of the local terrain. I wasn't searching for conservatives on this site. My guess was that there are probably towns where one could safely bet that a good majority of the people on a baseball team would be conservative. In Santa Mondica, where I live, it's a safe bet that most would be liberal. I think your last sentence is, perhaps, a way of saying "there go those yanks again, always assuming things about the South." Of course, most places are "integrated" after a fashion, but some places are more integrated than others. For the record, I was born in Canada, grew up in California, have lived in New York, Hawaii, Louisiana, Wyoming, and have spent some time in every state in the U.S. except Alaska and North Dakota.
The suggestions about contacting the local Chamber of Commerce in various towns is a good one.

When the game happens I'll let people on the list know. I hope some of you would come out to watch, cheer, jeer, and talk about politics and other matters for the camera.

kerry candaele
Santa Monica, CA

Wayne's picture


Should we hate conservatives? Born again Christians? Pro-lifers? I say we should not hate anyone but, dissagreement is not hate.

Elrod's picture


Nobody should "hate" born-again Christians, conservatives or pro-lifers.

stalwartdem's picture

I vote for..

Williamson Co. It makes the list of the top 20 conservative counties in the country

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