Sunday, March 1, 2009
Can the Dems pick up Wamps seat?
There's been a lot of rumbling among democrats that they might be able to pick up the congressional seat thats being vacated by Zach Wamp in Tennessee's 3rd congressional district. Some democrats are hoping that State Senator Andy Berke will run for this seat and duplicate what Travis Childers and Bobby Bright did in GOP leaning seats in Alabama and Mississippi. On the surface it isnt that much of a stretch to imagine a democrat like Berke winning this seat. Cook Political Report ranks Childers seat as the 99th most GOP seat, Brights seat is the 55th most GOP seat in the country and Wamp's is ranked as 117th most republican seat in the country and Wamps seat was also held by former democrat Congresswoman Marilyn Lloyd for over 20 years. But the Andy Berke fanclub have a few problems with their dream of getting him elected to Congress. Congressman Bobby Bright(D) was able to tap into a record turnout of african americans in the city of Montgomery who came out to vote for Barack Obama last November. Bright also took advantage of a bloody GOP primary last summer. He convinced State Senator Harri Anne Smith(R) to endorse him after she lost the GOP run off for this congressional seat to State Rep Jay Love. The same thing happened over in north Mississippi last year in that race. You had a bloody GOP primary between Greg Davis and Glenn McCullough and a lot of Republicans in McCullough's backyard were turned off by Davis's tactics and they either stayed home or supported Childers in the general election. There were also a number of conservative democrats and independents in the rural eastern end of the district that would've voted for a republican but were turned off by Davis. Because he's the Mayor of a town in the more affluent western end of the district. The good news for the GOP is that there isnt going to be a black turnout next year in Chattanooga on the level that it was in Montgomery last fall for Bright. Obama's not on the ballot and there isnt that big of a black population in Chattanooga to begin with like there is in Montgomery. But the one thing the GOP does have to worry about is their primary. Ive heard a number of credible candidates are looking at this race. That raises the possiblity of a very bloody GOP primary. Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble has already jumped in and there are rumors that State Chairwoman Robin Smith will jump in as will the area's two GOP state senators. The only way Senator Berke wins this seat in my opinion is if Gobble,Smith,Bunch and Watson draw serious blood on each other in the primary. The trends arent in the democrats favor in Tennessee and the state party is in serious disarray to say the least so if the bloody primary doesnt happen then the GOP will keep this seat next year.