You may remember how state Sen. Jim Kyle wormed his way into the district Sen. Beverly Marrero serves in a move many (including me) took as evidence Marrero was being given a sign it was time for her to let a man do a man's job. Seemingly in response to any efforts to remove Marrero from public life, there's now an online push to draft Marrero to run against U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.
On the one hand, I'm friends and acquaintances with many of the people who are most excited about this effort and I in no way doubt their sincerity. On the other hand, seeing this tweet from the TNDP makes me wonder if the nascent movement has already been co-opted by a party with a problem. Because, obviously, if Marrero did run against Corker, it would free up room at the state level for Kyle, which would make life a lot easier for state Democrats. There are a lot of people who are hoping Marrero is flattered enough by this to run.
But here's the thing. Over and over we've seen that the TNDP is reluctant to support women candidates and that they won't support candidates they don't think have a chance of winning. So while spreading the news of a "Marrero for Senate" movement could be read as at least tacitly not opposing such a run, would there be money and bodies for Marrero from the state party when push came to shove?
I kind of doubt it. Corker's established himself as an OK senator. Folks who are really conservative in general don't like him, and folks like me don't exactly care for him. He's pretty popular with people who aren't at either end of the spectrum. The Daily Caller had a story on him and his more conservative primary challengers back in November. The salient point?
A Vanderbilt University poll conducted at the end of October and beginning of November of this year found Corker with a 46 percent approval rating and 27 percent disapproval rating among voters in the state. The poll surveyed 1, 423 adults, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points. A Public Policy Polling poll of usual Republican primary voters found Corker with a 60 percent approval rating.
Now, I wish what I was about to say weren't true, but I have to ask you — do you think a liberal female Memphis Democrat with an exemplary history of supporting women's rights and GLBT rights can get 54 percent of the vote? I don't.
And I'm sure I'm not the only Democrat sitting around making that calculation. Which means I think it'll be a cold day in hell before she gets Democratic institutional support at the state level. And since Corker doesn't appear remotely vulnerable, she won't get institutional support from the national level.
If Kyle (and the institutional Democrats) need Marrero out of the way, they should have to earn it in the primaries, not get it handed to them as a present by her taking a quixotic swing at Corker.