Firebrand Marsha Blackburn retains Tennessee Senate seat for GOP

Erika Holt
November 8, 2018

'As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I can not support Marsha Blackburn.

The race between Blackburn, a longtime conservative firebrand, and Bredesen, the well-liked former governor who had been out of office almost a decade, became one of the most high profile, contentious and expensive races in the country. She'll leave the House and become a senator on January 3, 2019, taking over the seat vacated by Republican Bob Corker, who is retiring. She rarely diverged from Trump, and touted his proposed U.S. -Mexico border wall and tax cuts while blasting Bredesen's opposition to both. He was the only Democrat running for Senate to announce his support for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his contentious confirmation process.

What pundits are saying: Blackburn was among the earliest midterm candidates who went all in on President Trump's agenda, who returned the favor by visiting Tennessee to campaign on her behalf.

Swift first spoke out against Blackburn in October. She opened her campaign by dubbing herself a "hardcore, card-carrying Tennessee conservative".

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Bredesen had been viewed as one of the Democrats' best hopes in the party's quest to regain majority control of the Senate.

Swift's endorsement caused a significant spike in voter registration and, since then, she repeatedly encouraged fans to vote, shared pics of people doing so on her Instagram Stories and shutdown "fear based extremism".

"If you like whats going in Washington, and you like this sort of lines in the sand, take no prisoners, I'm not the guy". Although Bredesen largely kept his distance from other well-known Democrats, Blackburn had no qualms bringing Trump and fellow national Republicans to Tennessee. Trump visited the state three times. Marco Rubio of Florida, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina also came along for separate campaign events.

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