The National Conference of State Legislatures labels Tennessee as one of the top ten battleground states for legislative elections in November.
The NCSL calls the state’s Republican controlled Senate and Democratic controlled House within “striking distance for the minority party.”
Alex Johnson directs the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee. He says he doesn’t expect his party to overtake Democrats in the Tennessee House, but he does think they’ll keep control in the Senate.
His Democratic Legislative counterpart Michael Davies is more optimistic about his party’s chances in the Senate calling it “a true coin toss.”
“I think that there are enough vulnerable Republicans that Democrats could take the Tennessee State Senate and I think that the national environment gives our incumbents an advantage that they haven’t had in past years.”
In a panel discussion today, Johnson conceded that the Republican party is at a disadvantage in legislative elections across the nation this November because of the President’s low approval rating and the trend of voting against the incumbent party.
“Some years you play offense, and some years you play defense, and I think this is a year, we play a little defense, and we look to steal a few, I mean that I think that is our strategy going in and it’s not that I’m pessimistic, it’s just I realize there are historical trends working against us and we have to do our best to buttress those.”
Johnson says despite these factors working against Republicans, there are still plenty of “Democratic legislatures ‘in play’ for Republican take over.”