Midterm elections are like stay at-home moms: often overlooked, but very important. And with the craziness of the 24-hour news cycle, it can be easy to forget that there’s a national election this year. But it’s imperative that we pay attention to this one.
If you oppose the president’s agenda, it’s imperative to turn that into a vote against his party this November. It’s what Republicans did to Obama in the 2010 elections–they mobilized around opposition to the president, took back Congress, and derailed much of Obama’s legislative agenda. The same goes for anyone who supports Trump: if you want to protect the Republican majorities in the Senate and the House you’ve got to fill out your absentees with bubble next to the magic R.
In pretty much any other year, Tennessee would not be the place for a contentious statewide election. We’ve been solidly red since the early 90’s, and only one Democrat has been elected Senator or governor in this century.
But there are signs that this year is going to be different. For instance, pollsters have shown that Democrats are viewed in a much more favorable light than Republicans right now, so red-state liberals have a shot at succeeding in unlikely arenas. Tennessee, which went for Trump by a 26-point margin, might be one of those places.
The candidates’ personalities also seem conducive for a Democrat to make a Cinderella-run. As of right now, the primaries are looking lopsided, and both parties have a prized horse. For the Republicans, it’s the staunch Trump-ally Marsha Blackburn, a self-described “hard-core conservative” congresswoman. She’s an immigration hardliner and swings right of most voters. Conversely, the Democrats are likely to put their weight behind former Nashville mayor and two-term governor Phil Bredesen. The fiscal conservative and moderate liberal has shown that he knows how to turn a ruby-red state blue–he’s done it before. And polling has reflected this: while the data is mixed, some show Bredesen with a narrow lead in a head-to-head matchup with Blackburn.
Bredesen and the Democrats have a feasible–if narrow–path to victory: pick off moderates and energize the liberal base. If hippy-dippy Nashvillians turn out in droves for Bredesen and center-right Republicans stay home or flip their votes, we could well be calling Phil Bredesen Senator Bredesen and Democrat Chuck Schumer Senate Majority Leader Schumer. If not, Republicans may very well maintain their razor-thin majority in the Senate.
So, if you want to leverage your vote, consider switching your registration to Tennessee. This race, like midterm elections themselves, is overlooked, but deeply important. You don’t want to miss out. The future of Trump’s presidency may very well depend on it.