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Panicked GOP begs Corker to un-retire as Tennessee trends blue

Desperate to hold onto the Senate, Republicans want Bob Corker to get back in the race as polls show the current GOP frontrunner losing to a Democrat.

By Matthew Chapman - February 12, 2018
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Bob Corker
Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker

Perhaps fearing a repeat of the stunning Senate loss in deep-red Alabama, Republicans in Tennessee are begging their outgoing senator to cancel his retirement and save the party from itself.

According to a report from Politico, “a faction of Republicans in Tennessee and Washington are worried that the favorite for the Republican Senate nomination, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), could lose a general election — and with it the Republican Senate majority.”

The report notes that Corker — who has butted heads with Trump and decided last October not to seek another term — is “listening” but has not yet made any decision to go back on his retirement.

The GOP’s fear that it could lose Tennessee are well-founded.

In a Public Opinion Strategies poll, Blackburn — a Trump ally who led the fight to kill internet privacy laws and ran an anti-Planned Parenthood ad so extreme it was banned from Twitter — loses to former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen, 47 to 45, even though the poll was overweighted with GOP voters.

Once thought impossible due to the heavily GOP-tilted map, Democrats now have a path to retake control of the Senate as well as the House. With Republicans defending a razor-thin majority of 51 seats, Democrats would only have to win two of the three most competitive races — Tennessee, Nevada, and Arizona — to win the majority, assuming all of their incumbents win re-election.

And a recent string of Republican Senate candidates making complete and total fools of themselves makes that not as tall an order as it might seem.

Corker is famously open to persuasion. Last year, he flipped his vote on the GOP tax scam immediately after the inclusion of a real estate tax break that coincidentally saved him $1.1 million, leading many to call it the “Corker Kickback.”

Republicans’ desperation to pull Corker back into the race indicates that Tennessee could be the next Alabama — and the GOP has only itself to blame for that.


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