Monday, June 19, 2006

The Carpetbagger Report: Ford Gets Into Gear

The following analysis is from the Carepetbagger Report, which is a non-partisan, reality based political commentary blog:

TN SEN: FORD GETS INTO GEAR. For months, it seemed as if Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D) was doing all the right things in his Senate campaign in Tennessee, but just wasn't connecting. Statewide polls consistently showed him trailing his three GOP rivals by double digits, and Democratic leaders in D.C. and Tennessee wondered if and when Ford would break through.

Just this week, there are signs of progress for the Ford campaign. A Zogby poll was released showing the young Democrat making substantial gains -- and closing once-large gaps.

The race for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee, seen as a key battle in the fight for control of Congress’ upper chamber, is shaping up to be one of the tightest in the nation, a new Zogby International telephone survey shows. [...]

In prospective tests pitting Democrat Harold Ford Jr., a popular Democratic congressman, against three Republican rivals, Ford is running competitive races. Ford is dead even in a head-to-head race with former Congressman Ed Bryant, with each taking 42% of the vote in a potential match-up. Against former Congressman Van Hilleary, Ford trails by a narrow two-point margin, 43% to 41%. Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker leads Ford by the largest margin, 46% to 42%.

One other factor that might help tip the scales in Ford's favor: Tennessee's governor's race. The same Zogby poll showed Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) cruising to an easy re-election this year, leading his closest GOP rival by 36 points. By Election Day, it's very unlikely Republicans will be able to count on the gubernatorial campaign to help boost GOP turnout statewide.

The finish line is still months away, but for a change, Ford is no longer driving against the wind.

--Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report

Who would have ever thought a Democrat running for the United States in Tennessee would be in a dead heat with all of his opponents with only 5 months remaining in the election?

No one!

Just ask the NRSC, who last week put out press releases attacking Congressman Ford three days in a row.

That tells you everything.