Is Tennessee, a southern state that is becoming more conservative, a lock for Republicans in 2018?
Given that Republican Sen. Bob Corker currently holds the very important seat, conventional wisdom says the GOP should have no problem maintaining control of it.
However, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who won a very hotly contested race against Roy Moore in December, believes the seat isn’t a lock for Republicans. He was in Tennessee over the weekend to remind voters that Democrats, via former Gov. Phil Bredesen, have a serious chance to take control of the seat.
What did Jones say?
"I don't think Alabama and the South are ruby red," Jones said during the Tennessee Democratic Party's statewide fundraising event over the weekend, according to the Tennessean.
"This is time to elevate good people to our state offices and Washington. There can be a state of change in Tennessee," he added.
Jones later explained that for Bredesen to win, he and the Democratic Party will need to adopt an anti-tribal attitude, which should be easy for Bredesen, who is seen as a pragmatic leader willing to cross party lines.
"Our opposition shouldn't be our enemy. People all over the country want to see their elected officials working together. His opponent isn't going to do that," Jones said.
"Today, as the senator of Alabama, I ask my staff who have we heard from and what can we do for them. That's how you get elected in Alabama. That's how you get elected in Tennessee, even if you don't have all the answers," he reiterated.
Is Jones right?
If anyone would know about change, it's Jones. He defeated Moore, a Republican in a strongly Republican state for a seat previously held by a Republican; it was vacated by Jeff Sessions, who is now the U.S. attorney general.
Jones knows firsthand the great possibilities that come with being a moderate Democrat with crossover appeal who isn't afraid to reach across the aisle for the sake of the greater good.
Who's another politician with those exact same qualities? Bredesen, of course.
What about Bredesen's opponent?
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who's heavily favored to win the GOP primary on Aug. 2 and challenge Bredesen, is taking a slightly different approach to the race than what Jones suggested.
Instead, Blackburn — who is seen as an ultra-Trump supporting Republican ideologue — is turning the heat up on Democrats. In a statement Tuesday, Blackburn single-handedly blamed liberals and "liberal judges" for the separating of families at the U.S. border.
A spokesperson for Blackburn's campaign told TheBlaze they aren't buying what Jones is trying to sell — and neither should Tennesseans.
"Doug Jones tried to paint himself as a moderate, but as soon as he got to Washington, he fell right in line with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. That’s exactly what Tennesseans expect from Phil Bredesen. A vote for him is a vote for the policies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama," campaign spokeswoman Abbi Sigler told TheBlaze.
"Tennesseans know they can trust Marsha Blackburn to represent their values in the United States Senate," she added.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to add a statement from Blackburn's campaign spokeswoman.