The Big Question for Thursday is in the Republican Primary - can incumbent David Davis survive? I am thinking the answer is "No."
He won by a slim 22% in the last primary race, and there were many GOP candidates out for votes. This time, the battle is a two-man deal, with Johnson City's Phil Roe raising more campaign dollars (by a very small amount) than Davis. Here in Hamblen County, the one thing I've noticed is that signs for Phil Roe are everywhere, and few for Davis are evident. If Roe can win in Washington and Sullivan counties, and maybe in one or two of the smaller ones, he's the likely winner. If he can't carry Washington and Sullivan both - the race goes to Davis.
One blogger says of the race:
"Two members of Tennessee's wingnut patrol face primary challenges from other wingnuts hoping to capitalize on discontent within the wingnut base. In TN-01, freshman Rep. David Davis (who won the last primary with 22% of the vote) faces a rematch with 2006 contender Johnson City mayor Phil Roe. And in TN-07, Marsha Blackburn is up against Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood, who released an internal poll showing him within striking distance. These races don't seem to be about much other than "my turn," and Dems aren't in a place to capitalize in these deep-red districts (R+14 and R+12), but they're worth keeping an eye on."
Another blogger, the ultra-conservative David Oatney says:
"The only person running with a chance to win is Johnson City Mayor Dr. Phil Roe. Roe's actual platform is not substantially different from Davis ... The only thing David Davis is truly guilty of is that he almost seems as though he is taking his likely victory for granted. Phil Roe's people really appear to be working the district a lot harder than Davis' crew. If Roe upsets Davis, it will likely be because David Davis rested on his laurels."
If Oatney has doubts about Davis, then I'd say other ultra-conservatives are considering a switch too.
In the Democrat primary, the race belongs top to bottom to Rob Russell. And he continues to make more efforts to get out and be seen - he's appearing tonight at the Greene County Fair, but unless he's giving away free funnel cakes, I don't know how many folks will stop to talk with him at his booth. Actually, given the current heatwave here in ET, maybe he should be handing out free water and lemonade.