Even we can’t believe how we rated the 2020 Tennessee House races.
You will see what we mean in a minute. Before that, we’ll set up some of what you already know to be true about the politics of Tennessee. At the moment, the Republicans hold a 7-2 advantage over the Democrats in US House seats. it is the largest advantage they have had since Reconstruction. Even for most of the 2000s, the Democrats held most of Tennessee’s House seats. Like many states in the South, they were no strangers to Democratic votes, but like everywhere else, it went sideways on Team Blue and Tennessee is a reliable red state. You couldn’t even believe today that about a decade ago, the legislature there was about 50-50. Everything we need to know about Tennessee’s politics here and now was exposed in the 2018 Senate race, when a former two-term Democratic governor got smoked.
As Tennessee marched into the Republican column, we saw that effect on the House races. With the 2010 Tea Party wave that saw the GOP pick up over 60 seats nationwide, Republicans picked up three seats in the Volunteer State and no seat there has flipped since. Is that going to be our experience again in 2020? If you make it to the bottom, you will see how we call them.
TN US House Rating Scale
These nine 2020 Tennessee House races are rated on the below scale, and there is no tossup included.
2020 Tennessee House Races Current Prediction Summary: May 23
Current Tennessee US House Map
These’s a reason that half the Republicans in the district are falling over themselves to win the primary as Phil Roe exits. Taking the GOP primary means you in essence have a seat for life. Calling this district just “red” is too mild a term, as it has been Republican uninterrupted for about 140 years.
You would think that a seat with the University of Tennessee in it might have to deal with outbreaks of Democratic votes. Not really. Donald Trump almost doubled up Hillary Clinton here in 2016, and this seat, like the 1st, has been Republican since around the time of Reconstruction. Races like this are an afterthought in the big picture.
Chattanooga and areas north have been in GOP hands since early on in the Bill Clinton presidency, and this has only gotten redder with time.
Hard to believe Democrats were winning here in the 2000s. Donald Trump won here by about 40 points in his first run, and he may do it again. Scott DesJarlais has no worries.
The Nashville-area district tends to be Democratic, but not in overwhelming numbers. Democratic presidential candidates carry this district, but not by as much as Republicans are winning the districts around it. The 1st and 2nd Districts of Tennessee have been Republican since Reconstruction, and this district has been Democratic for about as long. Perhaps someday the prevailing political trends of the state will penetrate into Nashville, but that’s not happening in 2020. Jim Cooper is very safe with no Republican opposition.
Republicans win around here in ludicrous numbers that are similar to if there were a Madden EA Sports game for politics and elections. The Democrats will get crushed by Josh Rose here in Al Gore’s former district.
Mark Green is going to win by a lot; not much more to say about this race.
David Kustoff is not in for a difficult re-election run in this seat where Trump will do very well in November.
Every single seat in Tennessee is rated “very safe” in our May 23 analysis. Not one seat a smidge in play, and this one perhaps the least of all. Democrats will run up a huge score here, as they tend to do.