© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
TN-Sen: Republican Marsha Blackburn's offensive strategy could burn Democrat Phil Bredesen
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is gearing up for a quick-hitting round of campaigning after Labor Day. She is running for the U.S. Senate. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

TN-Sen: Republican Marsha Blackburn's offensive strategy could burn Democrat Phil Bredesen

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Corker (R), has yet to go on the offensive against her opponent, former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.

But her campaign has a rock-solid plan, and intends to mirror one that worked exceptionally well for a Republican lawmaker in 2016.

What are the details?

As the Tennessean reported last week, Bredesen has so far outpaced Blackburn in campaign spending by a wide margarin, a difference likely attributed to the fact that Blackburn has yet to air campaign ads.

But that's intentional — and it will soon change.

According to a report from The Hill, Blackburn's campaign is employing a disciplined approach to their campaign and plans to hold off airing campaign ads for several more weeks until Labor Day. Meanwhile, the Senate Leadership Fund has reportedly secured $4.4 million in advertising airtime for Blackburn's campaign, The Hill reported, which will not be used until the week of Sept. 11.

The timing of the ads and their frequency is all part of the game plan, Ward Baker, a Blackburn strategist said earlier this month. He characterized Blackburn's winning strategy as a slow, painful death for Bredesen.

"We’re going to make sure that he is in a corner, and we are going to constantly punch him in his face over and over and over again. This race will not be won by death by a thousand cuts. It’s going to be death by 10,000 cuts," he said, according to the Tennessean.

The plan mirrors the strategy then-Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) employed during his Senate campaign in 2016. As The Hill explained:

The race so far is reminiscent of another contest that featured a popular, well-funded politician taking another stab at public life. In that contest, former Sen. Evan Bayh (D) started a run for his old Indiana seat in 2016 with nearly $10 million in the bank.

Republicans did not attack him until after Labor Day, when Bayh led then-Rep. Todd Young (R) by more than 20 points. But after a barrage of negative ads funded by prominent outside groups, Young beat Bayh by 10 points.

Blackburn's blitz approach will likely corner Bredesen and position the race as a "national referendum on Trump," The Hill reported.

Blackburn is an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, while Bredesen is more reserved in expressing support for the president.

Will the strategy work?

While it worked for Young in Indiana in 2016, Tennessee in 2018 is a different animal. The race is widely believed to be one of the most competitive of the midterm cycle, a surprise given the state's deeply red roots and how it supported Trump in 2016.

But that's likely what the race will come down to: who will support Trump's agenda?

And despite earning the support of moderate Republicans during his time as governor, Bredesen has drawn contrast between Trump's agenda and his own, emphasizing that he will work for the interests of Tennesseans if elected.

While a noble goal, there's just one problem with that strategy: the majority of Tennesseans overwhelmingly see Trump's agenda as beneficial for themselves and the future of the nation.

No doubt, Blackburn has voter sentiment on her side, and therefore the upper edge.

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?
Chris Enloe

Chris Enloe

Staff Writer

Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News
@chrisenloe →