By the time you read this, we will be about a day away from the election.
I think I speak for many when I say I am weary of the commercials. And yes, I mute them, but I still hear enough to annoy me.
President Trump, stumping for Marsha Blackburn in the hotly contested race for U.S. Senator in Tennessee, has been telling me a vote for Phil Bredesen is a vote for Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, while a vote for Marsha is a vote for him.
More recently, he’s telling me if I don’t want those migrants marching toward the Mexican border to get in and cause all kinds of problems, I better vote Republican.
Meanwhile, Phil Bredesen and his folks are telling me Marsha is one of those Washington insiders and very much what’s wrong with the current state of affairs. If I want things to start happening, I should vote for change and vote for him. He’s not running against President Trump, he says, and if the president proposes something that’s good for Tennessee, he’s all in with him. He just wants to help make things work in a badly divided Congress, and he says his record of bipartisanship proves he’s the man for the job.
The ads in the governor’s race have been more polite. Bill Lee, continuing with his “aw shucks, I’m just a businessman who loves my family” strategy, has built on the likeability factor that propelled him to victory in the GOP primary.
Karl Dean is a little more direct in pointing out the differences between the two candidates (he’s for expansion of Medicaid in Tennessee and reasonable gun legislation, and is against vouchers for private school students), but he’s hardly gotten down and dirty.
While their ads are cheesy and irritating (in my opinion), I must admit they are, for the most part, civil.
Right after the primaries, I predicted Lee would handily win the governor’s race. I still believe that. In this solidly red state, unless I’m reading the tea leaves all wrong, traditional Republicans and independents, and maybe even a Democrat or two, will vote this successful Williamson County businessman into office.
Karl Dean has had a distinguished career as a prosecutor and mayor of Nashville, and he’s certainly more centrist than many Democrats, but I believe that “D” next to his name on the ballot keeps him from winning the race. Lord knows my record of prognosticating is not good, but my money is on Bill Lee to win.
Back in August I predicted a close race between Blackburn and Bredesen. Early polls indicated the same, with some of those even giving Bredesen the edge. A number of recent ones, however, indicate Blackburn has pulled ahead, with one having her up as many as six percentage points.
Again, we’re awfully red here in Tennessee and it would take a number of crossover Republicans and independents voting for Bredesen in order for him to win. But from what I hear, while I still think it will be closer than the governor’s race, I now tend to think there will not be enough of those crossovers and independents to push Bredesen over the top. I’m guessing more voters are going to be inclined to vote a straight GOP ticket, thus preserving Tennessee’s Republican seat in the U.S. Senate.
But, as always, what do I know? It could be that the strong early vote could swing things in a direction I’m not seeing.
In a very short time, the results will be in and you won’t have to consider what the likes of me has to say. Mercifully, we’ll get a break from the ads.
But don’t get too comfortable. The next election is only two years away.
Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, happy husband and proud father, father-in-law and grandfather. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.