Would a Harold Ford, Jr./Mary Mancini ticket be remotely strong? Or is Jim Cooper the only Democrat who could win statewide?
Jim cooper's district could be potentially vulnerable if they have a good republican running
. i think they'll have him stay there
Under the current lines, even Obama solidly won Cooper's district. Even in an open seat race, the current TN-05 would be likely Dem.
It's only D+5. If it were an open seat and the GOP got a country music star (it's Nashville, after all), they would have a good chance. Even if this doesn't happen, I expect that it will be divided between the surrounding districts (maybe the 4th, 6th, and 7th), along with a new 5th. They would all be pretty safe.
D+5 in the South is much different than D+5 in NY or MA. The voters that make this kind of seat Dem are pretty inelastic in their voting habits. D+5 in Tennessee is equivalent to R+5 in a state like California, which is pretty safe for Republicans in any scenario.
Even Lamar Alexander only barely carried this district in his 2014 Senate race that he won by over 30 points.
Obviously if this seat is cracked among the 4th, 6th , and 7th, Republicans will pick it up.
So what exactly makes these voters so inelastic compared to the kind of voters that elected Robert Dold twice in a D+8 district in Illinois?