The Republicrat And The 8th District

Every once in awhile, do you find yourself wanting to say “I told you so” so badly that you grit your teeth until bloody pieces of tongue starts floating around your mouth.

Well, by golly, I’m going to do it right now just because I feel that we don’t talk about the Republicrat as much as we need to. And we don’t really analyze why they feel so weary of political parties. In many ways, it’s the Republicrat that is the target demographic of the huge spending in the Fightin’ 8th.

Last December, I wrote this:

No one wants to talk about money for campaign races during economic times like these. And with this one getting national attention, you can bet the  parties in Washington are observing carefully what what is being said around the state. I also believe, because of the 8th’s high visibility, that we are going to see Mainstream Media more involved in this race. Sometimes they get involved, other times they don’t. As of this morning and since Tuesday, there were more than 300 news stories on Google talking about Tanner. He is a co-creator of the Blue Dog Democrats. He has the NATO thing going on. This time, I think you are going to hear a lot of traditional press.

The bottom line in this early time in the game is that this race is going to take a great deal of funding, it’s going to get a lot of attention and those Republicrats that tended to vote for Tanner (and they did) are going to be weighing their vote more heavily because this area has suffered huge job losses in recent history which is much of what I’m hearing being discussed. Tanner is what they knew and although not everyone adored him, he was well liked creating almost a new brand of voters for those in the middle who weren’t tied to a party line all the time for the past 20 years.

Yeah, I self-linked. I know, bad form. (Notice I did it anyway.)

We find out today that GOP candidates in the fighting 8th have spent $5.2 million on this race and that doesn’t include the money Robert  Kirkland has also pumped in which is over a million dollars. Dude didn’t end up making a lot of money at Kirklands just because someone wanted a higher-end home decor store in malls across the South, he made it by being aggressive. Brother Kirkland is playing to win, but alas, that is another story for another day.

It got me thinking about the Republicrat.

I know a lot of people that don’t walk the party line and I think the primary reason is that they just don’t feel very engaged by either party. I’ve said many times that it was Tanner, to a large degree, that created the voting mentality of what I’ve called for years one of two things. The Republicrat or the Dixiecrat. And, I do believe the Republicrats in the 8th are a little bit different than you might think.

I lean left campers, but the reality is that the Republicrat exists. They may vote in November for one Republican in one campaign and then turn around and hit the guy/girl with the D in another. Your average Republicrat isn’t grandstanding for attention most of the time, they are just going to vote for whom they want to.

Both political sides this campaign year have shown that this the vote that they are desperately seeking is the Republicrat this year.  It’s a reality.

In the Fightin’ 8th, I do think the GOP candidates have gone a bit over the edge.  In the 9th race, you see race being an indicator and guiding force. In the 8th is a little different although it is still “us and them” mentality where party lines are less important then the issue of jobs. A great deal of voters have felt marginalized.  What the GOP candidates have done in their fight for the nomination is disenfranchise voters more by fighting in a schoolyard brawl of rich guys.

And for Democrat Roy Herron, it’s also a challenge with the Republicrat but we will get to that after the primary.  GOP coffers may be depleted to a large degree and Herron is going to be fresh.

Both Herron and the winner tomorrow are going to have to do one thing and one thing effectively: Engage the Republicrat. For the right, it’s one challenge and for Herron it’s another which is not completely disenfranchising those on the left.

And we are going to see a lot more money poured into this race come November. The 8th is border counties that sometimes don’t even have a Tennessee television station on their satellite dish, so this may only get more contentious before it gets better as candidates try to figure out how to get their message out.

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