The Second Congressional District is supposed to be “the safest Republican district in the country”. There has not been a Democrat US Representative since before the Civil War.
When I asked for a nominating petition for US Representative, I was explaining to the clerk what I was running for and the light dawned in her eyes ” Oh, John Duncan’s seat”. Well might she call it that because she had never known any other name in the seat.
But in the 2006 election a Democratic gubernatorial candidate — Phil Bredesen — won easily in the Second Congressional District — “the safest Republican district in the country”.
In the Second Congressional District for Governor
- Bredesen (Democrat) 143,820 69 percent
- Bryson (Republican) 63,741 31 percent
In the Second Congressional District for US Representative
- Greene (Democrat) 45,025 22 percent
- Duncan (Republican) 157,095 78 percent
People who voted for a weak candidate like Greene are probably confirmed Democrats and they accounted for approximately 22 percent of the people voting.
People who voted for Bryson are probably confirmed Republicans and they accounted for approximately 31 percent of the people voting.
There were about 98,000 people who voted for a Democrat Governor and a Republican US Representative (or didn’t vote for US Representative). That implies that about 47 percent of the voters are independent enough to vote for a Democrat when they think the Democrat is the better candidate. To carry the Second Congressional District a Democrat needs to get about 60 percent of this independent vote. Some things are easier said than done.
In 1994, in his third term, John Duncan signed the Newt Gingrich “Contract with America “ which said the Republicans would limit US Representatives to six terms. When the Republican US Representatives who were elected at the time of the “Contract with America “ were reelected to their sixth term they seem to have decided that what the “Contract with America “ had really meant was that it was the Democrat US Representatives who should be term limited. John Duncan has been elected to term number 13 .
Remember, when David went out to face Goliath he didn’t use the conventional weapons — Goliath had a HUGE spear but nothing to stop a smooth stone — or at least he didn’t raise his shield until too late. I hope someday the internet will be the smooth stone to counteract the massive campaign funds available to incumbent politicians.