Republican Marsh Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen are in a very tight race according to the most recent poll. Vanderbilt University’s poll is contrary to previous polls showing Blackburn ahead by a good margin. In the Vanderbilt poll, Bredesen actually has a 1-point lead.
Two big stories over the last couple of weeks could be firing up voters. First, singer Taylor Swift came out to address younger voters and encourage them to vote for Bredesen. Then, Project Veritas released a video showing Bredesen staffers and volunteers claiming Bredesen lied about his willingness to vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.
His announcement of supporting confirmation after-the-fact was intended to build support in a state that overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and backed Kavanaugh’s confirmation. While it may have pulled some people off the fence to land on his side of the tight race, it also made others skeptical about his honesty while alienating a large part of his base.
It isn’t just his base that should worry him. Even campaign volunteers are upset by the announcement.
This should be a wake up call to Republicans who have been reading too many polls lately. Momentum has been on the GOP’s side ever since the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation, but as many predicted, the news cycle has already shifted. If Republicans hope to keep control of the Senate, they’ll need their voters to be engaged and, frankly, scared.
Passion and fear drive casual midterm voters. Many will still stay home, especially if they think their candidates are going to win without them. Don’t let complacency put more Democrats on Capitol Hill.