The 2018 midterm elections promise to be some of the most closely watched in many years, and the Nashville area is no exception. We here in the Nashville hotel industry will be paying close attention! Democrats are going to be pinning their hopes that the voters are chomping at the bit to send a loud and clear message to the Trump administration. Some political analysts are saying that the Democrats will overpower the polls, but it might not go the way they predict, even though three Republicans will be leaving their positions.
In District 4, which includes southern Middle Tennessee and Murfreesboro, Representative Scott Desjarlais is seeking a fifth term. He was part of a Republican influx that saw Democrats lose three seats in 2010 due to the Affordable Care Act and all the contention surrounding that vote. He now faces challenger Jack Maddux (D), and it has proven to be a tough campaign. Additionally, three other Democrats in Murfreesboro are aiming to make District 4 competitive again: and they are Steven Reynolds, Mariah Phillips, and Christopher Hale.
Nashville itself, which is District 5 and also includes part of Cheatham County, will see Representative Jim Cooper unopposed as the nominee this August. This district is considered the most competitive one in the state, as it is rated only plus 7 on the side of Democrats. Cooper is well-known, having served in Congress since 1983, and unseating him has been a focus of the Republicans in the area for years. For the Republican nomination, Glen Dean and Jody Ball are facing each other.
Sumner and Robertson County and the Cumberland Plateau (District 6) have an open seat for the upcoming midterm elections in this solidly Republican district, but those candidates have little political experience. Their resumes, however, are impressive. Lavern Vivio, Judd Matheny, Christopher Monday, John Rose, and Bob Corlew all have experience in areas of the community that could bring a wealth of fresh viewpoints; among them are a farmer, a judge, a lawman, and a radio personality. As a judge, Corlew is the only one who has ever been in an election campaign. Four Democrats have high election hopes: Merrilee Wineinger, Dawn Barlow, Christopher Finley, and Peter Heffernan. There’s not a lot of political experience on the other side of the aisle, either. This district hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992, as well.
District 7, which encompasses Franklin, Clarksville, Parsons, and a large part of Middle Tennessee, has state Senator Mark Green running unopposed for the Republican candidacy. He will be running against either Matt Reel or Justin Kanew.
Democrats have some possible advantages in the upcoming election of 2018. Three Republicans are stepping down, while opportunities are arising due to the President’s drop in approval ratings. Democrats could still experience some barriers, however, since the President remains more popular in Tennessee than in other areas of the country. Meanwhile, all of the state’s districts are rated as solid. Nationally, the Democrats enjoy a favorable outlook, but here in the Volunteer State, it remains to be seen if we will see any upsets this August. Whatever happens, we here in the Nashville hotel industry will be watching closely and doing our civic duty and getting out and voting!