The Tennessee congressional delegation somersaulted tonight from 5-4 Democratic to 7-2 Republican. The AP has called it for Scott DesJarlais in the Fourth District and Stephen Fincher in the Eighth. Democrats never had a chance to keep the Sixth, the seat that Bart Gordon vacated, and Diane Black won that election easily.
Henceforth in this state, as we had predicted, Democratic congressmen can feel safe only in urban and/or predominantly black districts (i.e., Nashville and Memphis).
The margin in DesJarlais' contest was especially surprising. He was rolling up 57 percent of the vote against the four-term incumbent Lincoln Davis. The Republican storm was strong enough to overcome weird behavior in DesJarlais' past. In decade-old divorce papers, he was accused by his first wife of firing an unloaded gun outside her bedroom door and of holding the gun to his mouth for three hours.
Update: GOP chairman Chris Devaney gloats.
"Democrats in Tennessee were shown the door tonight and for good reason. In this state, Democrats have to do more than pay lip service to conservative values and voters are tired of the big conservative talk inside the state followed by liberal votes in Washington. That's why they have voted for Republican candidates they can depend on to actually represent their values. Tennessee is a red state and I'm pleased we're going to have so many effective Republicans working in Washington on Tennessee's behalf."