Politico tries to downplay the incident —where former Democrat Governor Phil Bresden announced support for Kavanaugh— by saying it is a “small fraction” of the voter base offended by the statement, but the fact that they are reporting on this at all shows that they are worried that he is about to blow this seat into Marsha Blackburn’s willing arms:
Tennessee Democrat Phil Bredesen is facing backlash from some of the staunchest supporters of his Senate campaign after coming out in support of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Campaign volunteers have been calling to cancel door-knocking and phone-banking shifts for Bredesen since his statement backing Kavanaugh, according to an internal spreadsheet maintained by the campaign and obtained by POLITICO. At least 22 volunteers so far have reached out to express frustration with the decision, according to the spreadsheet. POLITICO spoke with five who contacted the campaign to vent their anger.
It’s a small fraction of Bredesen’s total volunteer force, which numbers in the thousands, according to his campaign. But it’s also just one slice of the frustration roiling Democrats since Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court last weekend.
“As a woman voter in Tennessee, I felt torpedoed by the statement,” said Rhonda McDowell, a campaign volunteer in Memphis.
McDowell, a 63-year-old travel agent, said she had volunteered twice a week for the past four or five weeks, but she told campaign staff she could not continue after Bredesen backed Kavanaugh. McDowell told POLITICO she was rethinking that decision, but only because she was worried about the effect Bredesen’s support for Kavanaugh could have on other Democrats running in Tennessee.
“I was so conflicted about it for a while but the more I think about these candidates who are down the ballot, the more I think I don’t want to cut off my nose to spite my face here,” McDowell said.
Bredesen, a former two-term governor, is fighting to win support from moderate and conservative swing voters in his quest to carry deep-red Tennessee, while also working to hold onto his Democratic base in the closing weeks of his campaign against Republican Rep. MArsha Blackburn.
But the fight over Kavanaugh has put those goals at odds. Retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who holds the seat that Bredesen and Blackburn are seeking, told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the Senate floor last week that Democrats’ handling of the Kavanaugh nomination has hurt Bredesen politically. While Corker has endorsed Blackburn, he’s also close friends with Bredesen and has praised him repeatedly.
This is probably why she is leading by 20 points now.