Late Sunday, “a senior adviser to Sen. Bob Corker”(R-TN) told The Tennessean “It is true that Senator Corker has been encouraged by people across Tennessee and in the Senate to reconsider his decision, but at this point nothing has changed,” (emphasis added) when asked to respond to a CNN report earlier on Sunday filed by John King that rumors are circulating on Capitol Hill that junior Senator Bob Corker is ‘having second thoughts’ about retirement:
CNN is told that in recent days. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee has floated the idea of changing his mind and running for re-election this year.
Now sources tell us fellow Tennessean Lamar Alexander and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham are among those who discussed the idea with Senator Corker.
But – and this is a big ‘but’ – when the idea was broached to the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, his response, we are told is, it’s a non-starter unless Senator Corker can get President Trump on board.
You might recall last year, Corker questioned the President’s competence and in return, he earned the Twitter nickname, ‘Liddle Bob Corker.’
They are back on speaking terms – the Senator and the President, now – but one source familiar with the conversations says the president, quote, ‘will have no part of it.’
“If Senator Corker had wanted to end the speculation about him potentially running for re-election his spokesman could have simply said ‘No, the Senator will not be changing his plans to retire.’ Instead they have kept the door open by limiting their position to ‘at this time.’ The question is why he is leaving the option open? The polls that show Blackburn beating him handily in a head to head race haven’t changed,” conservative Republican strategist Steve Gill told The Tennessee Star.
“I don’t believe Corker will run, but the damage being done to the Fincher campaign while the option remains open will likely do irreparable harm to Fincher’s prospects,” Gill noted.
“Corker’s potential bid for re-election is the last thing Fincher needs as he is way behind Blackburn in the polls and lagging in fundraising as well. The speculation will tend to freeze Fincher’s efforts to raise money and secure support while time ticks away,” Gill added.
Regular readers of The Tennessee Star are well-versed in the many scathing attacks by the card-carrying #NeverTrumper Bob Corker on leading up to his announcement that he would not run for re-election.
The ramifications of his continued opposition to President Trump and the Trump Agenda, together with the ongoing investigations into how he amassed his $69 million fortune since joining the Senate in 2006 has taken a mighty toll on his viability as a winning candidate in the Volunteer State.
In the latest Tennessee Star / Triton Poll before Corker announced his retirement, the junior Senator was flailing down at the 22 percent level:
Senator Bob Corker’s (R-TN) favorability rating has sunk to a record-low 22 percent among Tennessee Republicans, according to a new poll released by The Tennessee Star on Wednesday.
A full 60 percent of Tennessee Republicans have an unfavorable view of the retiring junior senator.
Corker’s record-low unfavorability rating among Tennessee Republicans stands in stark contrast to President Trump’s favorability rating, which remains sky high at 84 percent among Tennessee Republicans, according to the same poll.
On the heels of his retirement announcement, popular congress member Representative Marsha Blackburn announced her candidacy and immediately became the front-runner in the GOP nomination race. The most recent Tennessee Star / Triton Poll has Blackburn 11 percentage points ahead former Tennessee Governor, Democrat Phil Bredesen:
A new Tennessee Star Poll released on Monday shows that Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) leads former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, in a head-to-head general election matchup for the Tennessee U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) by 11 points, 50 percent to 39 percent.
Even if Mr. Corker were to run and win the Republican nomination to return to the Senate, the voters of Tennessee – who overwhelmingly support President Trump, his policies, and agenda – would likely stay home for the general election in November, paving the way for another Democrat pick-up in the U.S. Senate.
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