Tennessee Elections Ahead of November 3

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With three days until Election Day, voting turnouts far surpassed 2016 records for early voting. Turnout jumped from about 273,000 the first day to nearly 2.3 million in under two weeks.

These numbers represent over half of Tennessee’s registered voters. More ballots are still forthcoming.

This year, all nine of Tennessee’s U.S. representative seats are on the ballot.

Either outcome for District 1 will make history, since incumbent Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN) didn’t seek reelection. The victor between the two candidates, Democrat Blair Walsingham and Republican Diana Harshbarger, will be the district’s first female representative elected in a regular election. In 1961, Louise Reece was chosen during a special election after her husband died during his term. Harshbarger is favored to win.

Save for District 1, every incumbent is forecasted to retain their seat. The only uncontested seat is in District 5, held by Democratic incumbent Jim Cooper.

The U.S. Senate contest between Republican candidate Bill Hagerty and Democratic candidate Marquita Bradshaw doesn’t appear to be competitive. A majority of pollsters rank the race as “Likely GOP,” with Hagerty up 20 points and forecasted to win in 99 percent of outcomes.

At the state level, Republicans are also confident in their hold in the House and Senate.

All 99 seats are up for election in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Six of those seats aren’t sought after by their incumbents, all Republicans, and four of those seats were lost by their incumbents during the primaries.

Several state-level races stand out. Longtime incumbent John DeBerry Jr. was booted from the Democratic Party earlier this year due to his pro-life and school choice voting tendencies. DeBerry is now running as an independent. DeBerry’s opponent is Torrey Harris, the Democratic candidate that would become Tennessee’s first openly transgender state representative if elected.

District 97 may flip, according to some that believe an incumbent’s departure makes an open seat vulnerable to the opposing party. Democratic candidate Gabby Salinas and Republican candidate John Gillespie are gunning to be Republican state Representative Jim Coley’s replacement.

As for the Senate in the General Assembly, 16 of 33 seats are in the race.

The only incumbent not seeking reelection is Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) for District 26. The candidates in that race are Democrat Civil Miller-Watkins and Republican Page Walley.

14 of the remaining 15 seats are held by Republican incumbents. The Democratic incumbent in District 30, Sara Kyle, is uncontested. District 2 is also uncontested, held by Republican Art Swann.

Pollsters agree that Tennessee favors President Trump, recently placing him ahead of Biden anywhere from 13.5 to 18 points. Accordingly, Tennessee appears to maintain its status quo as a red state across the board.

Early voting ended Thursday. Voters must mail absentee ballots by 3 pm CDT on Election Day, November 3.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “People Voting” by Wyofile. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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