Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Bredesen fizzles in Tennessee

President Trump arrives for a President Trump arrives for a"Make America Great Again campaign rally at Middle Georgia Regional Airport on Nov. 4 2018 in Macon Ga. Getty
Melinda Barton | 07 November, 2018, 14:22

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn was called as the victor just a few minutes after polls closed, easily defeating Democratic opponent, former Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Pop superstar Taylor Swift's endorsement of a Democratic Senate candidate in Tennessee didn't amount to much.

Before the election, the 28-year-old singer - who had not previously weighed in on politics - said Blackburn had a voting record that "appalls and terrifies" her. Blackburn defeated former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in a hotly contested race that was viewed by many analysts to be a toss-up heading into election day.

While the race was in a dead heat, Blackburn's poll numbers began to rise not long after President Donald Trump came to the state to promote her among MAGA supporters. Blackburn's campaign, meanwhile, shelled out about $12 million through mid-October, and outside groups some $31.6 million for her bid. She fought for Tennessee values in the legislature and in Congress.

She told a cheering crowd at the Chattanooga event with Trump on Sunday: 'And if you want to vote no on Hillary Clinton and her cronies one more time, stand with me and let's win this election!' She rarely diverged from Trump, and touted his proposed U.S. -Mexico border wall and tax cuts while blasting Bredesen's opposition to both. However, my very good source in Tennessee told me Blackburn would likely win, so I wasn't too anxious. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG.

First elected to the House in 2002, Blackburn aligned with the tea party movement and regularly appeared on Fox News.

She welcomed in Pence three times. She's leading now substantially, which is good.