by Judson Phillips
The 2020 election season is upon us. In August, Tennesseans will go to the polls in August for the primary and in November for the general election. But there is one question, no one is asking candidates and it is a question that should be asked of candidates for the State House and State Senate.
What is that question?
Will you support redistricting that will give the state Republican majorities in the 5th and 9th Congressional Districts?
After the 2010 elections, for the first time, Republicans had complete control of the state legislature. They had the opportunity to make all nine of Tennessee’s congressional districts Republican.
They wimped out.
The Tennessean whined that Nashville had always been in one Congressional district and it should not be broken up. That, of course, meant at solid blue seat. I was told that the GOP was afraid to go after the 9th Congressional District lines because it would trigger a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act.
That was ten years ago, and thanks to the fecklessness of the GOP, the Democrats have kept two seats in Congress. Both Steve Cohen (TN-9) and Jim Cooper (TN-5), voted for the Impeachment of President Trump. They are solid votes for everything Nancy Pelosi wants to do.
Will the Republicans in the Tennessee Legislature have the guts to do what needs to be done?
To start with the basics, the Republicans in the State Legislature will not do it if they do not hear from the voters that they want this done. Every conservative should be calling their Republican state representative or state senator and telling them, redistricting Cohen and Cooper out of their seats, is the most important issue.
Redistricting the 5th district is probably the easier of the two. The 5th is surrounded by the 4th, 6th and 7th. They are R+20, +24, and +20 respectively. The 5th is only D+7. All the Republicans have to do is stand up to the liberal media in the state that will scream about the loss of Nashville’s Congressional District.
The 9th is a bit tougher. Since Steve Cohen has been their Congressman since 2007, it is hard to see a voting rights lawsuit coming from the Justice Department. Particularly if Republicans redraw the lines and then get behind a good Republican minority candidate. The bigger problem is that the 9th is D+28. It is surrounded by the 7th and 8th, which are R+20 and R+19. It will be tougher to draw those lines to make it a Republican District, though it certainly could be redrawn to make it much more competitive.
But none of this matters, if people are not calling their state representatives and senators. If the Republicans in the legislature do not hear from the people, this will never happen. The current crop of Republican Congressmen will not want their districts watered down because it might make their districts more competitive and they might have to spend more time campaigning.
But if we can flip these two seats, it can help make the difference in taking or keeping the House of Representatives.
And that is the issue every Tennessee conservative needs to be discussing with their state representative and senator.
Make Tennessee Great Again. Make all of Tennessee’s congressional delegation Republican!