Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is projected to defeat former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) on Tuesday night to become the next U.S. senator from Tennessee — thus helping the GOP cement its majority in the Senate.
Blackburn (pictured above left) will almost certainly be replacing outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) in January. Fox News called the race for Blackburn shortly after 9 p.m. on Tuesday night.
She has served in the House since 2003.
Blackburn trailed Bredesen (above left) in the polls until mid-September before finally surpassing him in early October, according to the RealClearPolitics (RCP) polling average. The latest RCP average prior to Election Day showed Blackburn with a 5.2 percent lead over Bredesen.
Bredesen began trailing Blackburn amid the bitterly partisan controversy surrounding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s tempestuous Senate confirmation process, which was was marred by last-minute sexual assault allegations.
Kavanaugh unequivocally denied all of the allegations against him.
The Senate ultimately confirmed Kavanaugh by a vote of 50-48 on October 6. Only one Democratic senator, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), voted for his confirmation.
Some Democratic senators opposed Kavanaugh before President Donald Trump even nominated him — and the Democrats on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary did everything in their power to stall and tank the process well before the sexual assault allegations even became public.
Bredesen found himself in trouble in October when an underground video produced by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas exposed his claim that if he had been in the Senate at the time, he would have voted for the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation.
Several of Bredesen’s key campaign staffers told an individual they believed was a friendly journalist that their candidate actually opposed Kavanaugh.
Bredesen field organizer Will Stewart unwittingly told a Veritas interviewer, “He wouldn’t, but he’s saying he would” vote for Kavanaugh. “Which, I don’t know if it makes it worse or better.”
James Miller, another campaign staffer, said, “But isn’t that gross … That’s like the way it has to go … We don’t — we don’t say that out of these walls. But here, of course, we talk about that. ‘Cause it’s so funny. The messaging is like, ‘Don’t talk about blue wave.'”
Trump, who carried Tennessee by 26 percentage points during the 2016 presidential election, staunchly backed Blackburn’s Senate bid and campaigned for her during a rally in Chattanooga this past Sunday.
“In just 2 days, the people of Tennessee are going to elect @VoteMarsha Blackburn to the United States Senate to protect your jobs, defend your borders, and CONTINUE MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Get out on Tuesday and VOTE for Marsha!” Trump tweeted after the raucous rally.
In just 2 days, the people of Tennessee are going to elect @VoteMarsha Blackburn to the United States Senate to protect your jobs, defend your borders, and CONTINUE MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Get out on Tuesday and VOTE for Marsha! pic.twitter.com/BJhmItntMo
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2018
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