Tennessee Primaries: What to Watch For

The Republican traveled Wednesday from Knoxville to Chattanooga then to Jackson to speak with voters

Diane Dimel said Thursday outside her Nashville polling place that though she's a registered Republican and cast her ballot for Harwell in the governor race, she probably won't vote that way in the general election.

The choices Tennesseans made in Thursday's primary will have ramifications for years to come.

A general election win would be historic for either Black or Blackburn, since the state has never elected a woman as governor or USA senator.

Tennessee voted for Trump by 26 percentage points in 2016, but Bredesen's continued popularity and pledge of independent thinking has kept polls close in the contest to replace retiring Republican Sen.

Dean defeated state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh on Thursday in a race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. Bredesen and Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn face only nominal primary opposition in their race t.

"There's a lot of things I don't personally like about Donald Trump, but he's the president of the United States and if he has an idea, and is pushing some things that I think are good for the people of Tennessee, I'm going to be for it". If elected, he will become the first Democrat to win a Senate campaign in the Volunteer State since Al Gore in 1990. He went on to say he hopes Lee will win the governorship in the November election. He easily won a primary contest Thursday.

Taking a page from Bredesen's playbook, Dean has touted himself as a leader who can break down partisan barriers and make divided government work during divisive political times.

In a tweet Friday, the president congratulated Lee for running a great campaign and deemed the victory a "big win". Lee declined to take overt swipes at his opponents while they savaged each other in attack ads, at times targeting him.

He thanked his supporters Thursday night and vowed to be "the best damn senator you ever sent up to Washington". Black, for her part, played a key role in the passage of the president's signature Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December as the chairman of the House Budget Committee.

President Donald Trump, who previously praised Rep. Corker, for one, has further complicated the race by saying he's supporting Blackburn but won't actively campaign against his friend, Bredesen.

Bredesen has separated himself from Trump on several policies, most notably on tariffs, which threaten an estimated $1.4 billion in Tennessee exports, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a longtime Republican ally.

Any Democratic nominee for either governor or senator would need the support of moderate Republicans and independents.

Dean had a huge advantage in campaign cash, outspending Fitzhugh $4.4 million to $984,800.

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