FRANKLIN, Tennessee–Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) and Bill Lee were big winners in their respective statewide races in Tennessee Tuesday night.
Blackburn, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), easily defeated the Democratic nominee, former Gov. Phil Bredesen by a double digit margin.
With 81 percent of precincts reporting, Blackburn had 55.6 percent of the vote to 43.1 percent for Bredesen. The 12.5 percent margin of victory was higher than all but one poll of the race–The New York Times Upshot/Siena College Poll last month that gave her a 14 point lead.
Blackburn’s margin of victory was well over 200,000 votes. She had 1,060,468 votes to Bredesen’s 822,435 with 19 percent of precincts still left to report.
In the race for governor, Williamson County businessman Bill Lee’s margin over former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was larger.
With 63 percent of precincts reporting, Lee had 60.6 percent of the vote, compared to Dean’s 37.9 percent.
In terms of raw vote margin, Lee had well over 350,000 more votes than Dean–1,006,690 to 629,484.
Both Bredesen and Dean did well in the urban areas of Davidson County and Shelby County, but their margins there were nowhere near the numbers they needed to make their respective races closer.