This part is especially interesting:
With the South’s shift to the GOP, Tennessee’s power base has — like its affluent population — moved out of the city and off the farm and into the tony suburbs.
The population boom, of course, has bolstered Williamson County’s representation, while Davidson County’s delegation has largely stayed static. Williamson gets ever more seats in the legislature. And where the county used to be a red dot in a sea of blue, the state’s conservative shift means that Davidson is now the outlier, a Democratic outpost surrounded by Republican counties.
But I think that this story helps shed a lot of light on the line Republican leaders have to walk. Some parts of the base expect red-meat social-issue bills. But the part of the base with money is well-educated, and they and their bosses are often not from here. Even if they consider themselves fiscally conservative, their patience for red-meat social issues bills — bills that make Tennessee look like a state full of yahoos where talented people who aren't from here might not feel welcome — is thin.
I'm not saying that these folks are ever going to abandon the Republican Party. But I think it is interesting to keep an eye on where they put their money within the party.