(Sort of) Live From Tennessee

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 7 2014 8:18 PM

(Sort of) Live From Tennessee

Dave Weigel reports from Tennessee

Photo by Amy Coopes/AFP/Getty Images

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.—It's every boy's dream—a hardware failure right before a deadline. The wireless gear I typically use on the road broke today, and a helpful Verizon franchise replaced it with gear that also failed to work (but for a different reason). There will be a story tonight about this state's Tea Party vs. Establishment showdown, but less than the usual amount blogging tonight and tomorrow.

All that said: Results in Tennessee will be posted here. The races to watch:


- The Senate race among Lamar Alexander, Joe Carr, and some also-rans. There's been next to no polling of this race, which pitted one of the more plugged-in "establishment" senators (that is to say, not someone who had to be pushed to run again, like Thad Cochran) against one of the more adept Tea Party challengers, with a defined issue—iimmigration.

- The 2nd Congressional District, held by Rep. Jimmy Duncan, is the scene of a pretty low-key Tea Party challenge. Duncan's one of the most reliably right-wing members of the House; he drew an opponent because of an anti-incumbent backlash that no one can stave off.

- The 3rd Congressional District, held now by Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, is being sought by Weston Wamp, the 27-year-old son of former Rep. Zach Wamp. Fleischmann produced a gleefully dishonest radio ad in which half of a Wamp quote ("You won't hear me criticize the president ... ") was played and replayed to make him sound like an Obama-lover.

- The 4th Congressional District is held by Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a class-of-2012-er who managed to keep a lid on the news that he encouraged an ex-wife's abortions until right before election 2012. He won that race anyway—thanks, gerrymandering!—but is being challenged by state Sen. Jim Tracy, and may survive because of scattered voting for other people who piled in.

- The 7th state Senate district race between Stacey Campfield and Richard Briggs. Campfield is one of the lawmakers most likely to appear in a Huffington Post headline. (Google "don't say gay bill" if you need a refresher.) Briggs is the doctor the establishment wants to take the seat.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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