August 31st, 2010
08:15 AM ET
12 years ago

CNN 100: Tennessee open seat favors Republican turnover

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" The CNN 100 takes a look at the top 100 House races, from now until Election Day."]

Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here . Today's featured district is:

Tennessee's 6th: Diane Black (R) v. Brett Carter (D)
Primary: August 5, 2010
Location: Middle Tennessee
Days until Election Day: 63

(CNN) – Of all the House Democrats who are retiring ahead of the 2010 midterm elections, Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon's decision to exit the stage may have stung the most.

After all, Gordon, who's served in Congress for 25 years, hails from a decidedly conservative swath of Tennessee that in 2008 voted for John McCain over President Obama by a 62-37 percent margin. The district, encompassing Middle Tennessee and parts of the Appalachian Mountain chain, has traditionally been the scene of sprawling farmlands and endless countrysides.

But an economic boom earlier this decade transformed the landscape somewhat when several corporations established shop in the district to avoid higher taxes in nearby Nashville. The result has been one of the fastest growing districts in Tennessee, bringing in scores of new voters who largely tilt Republican despite Democrats' best efforts to remove the district's most conservative corners during redistricting in 2002.

The Republican candidate is Diane Black, a state senator who narrowly won the nomination over a handful of other GOP candidates in a primary earlier this month. Black holds the conservative line on most positions, favoring a repeal of the Democratic health care legislation and an extension of the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush.

The Democratic candidate is Brett Carter, a veteran of the Iraq war but a political unknown. Carter is running on a moderate platform, saying the health care legislation "must be improved" and calling for an investigation into President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency after the BP oil spill.

But while Carter's stances have a chance at appealing to the district's conservative voting bloc, he is at a money disadvantage to Black and will likely have trouble getting his name out. At last check, Black has spent more than six times what Carter has and also enjoys a war chest that is twice the size of Carter's, $196,678 to $99,929.

When you add to that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's reticence to spend any money of their own on this race, it's more than likely this district will go from blue to red.

Filed under: CNN 100
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. dont care what you Demoncrates say

    better run Dems, we are coming and we are coming for you, the rebellion is near and so is your end, bye pelosi, bye reid, and good bye flopped eared wanna be obama, America is back and we are not taking prisoners.

    August 31, 2010 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  2. Clwyd

    If Black wins we could score this one for the Robert's Court and their allowing unlimited funds, foreign and domestic, to be spent on elections. How to buy the government of the US! Just ask rich conservatives if they win! I pray Americans are smarter than that, but since so many, now actually only 19%, think that sarah pathetic is qualified to hold office, maybe they will be fooled?

    August 31, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  3. USA 1

    Americans are getting ready to make a fatal mistake...again...just like they did when they voted for Bush.

    Kiss the middle class good- bye folks. Here comes the GOP and the rule of the wealthy for the wealthy...again...

    August 31, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  4. barry

    New AP poll now has Republicans with 10% advantage. That is almost twice what the polls showed in 1994. The party is over they had their fun. Time for the adults to come in and clean up the mess. The Obama recession has spiraled out of control. Vacationing, golfing, campaigning, and continuing to divide the country won't fix this. We elected a President who didn't have the experience to handle the job. Excellent speaker but that is where the talent ended.

    August 31, 2010 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  5. T'SAH from Virginia

    Of course this seat is for a REPUBLICAN'T when you have a Democrat running against President Obama!!!! This will keep Democrats HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Democrats do not stick together – just like the vote for the Iraq war – they BUSTED at the seams and gave in – just like they are doing NOW – Jumping Ship for political reasons instead of sticking together and fighting for what is RIGHT!!!!

    August 31, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  6. Soap

    He retired rather than be thrown out which is what would have happened to him.

    August 31, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |