In this interview with Tennessee Report, state GOP chairman Chris Devaney showed he's just as delusional as Republicans nationally. About all the crackpots and frothers and tin-foil hatters at the legislature, Devaney beamed with pride and laughably attributed their electoral dominance to their message and achievements.
“Tennessee, I think, is a shining light and an example across the country for what we can do. ... It’s about job-creation and education … tax reform, legal reform, all of that, and people just keep gravitating to that message. The Democrats, really, in this state have no message.”
That last point about Democrats is true enough. But Devaney's kidding himself if he thinks Tennessee Republicans are winning elections on their own merits. Their super majority in the legislature is almost entirely thanks to Barack Obama.
Obama lost Tennessee to John McCain in '08 by 15 points. Mitt Romney bettered that margin on Nov. 6, beating the president here by 20 points. Those mind-boggling margins poured down the ballot to give Republicans their victories in legislative races all over the state map. In '08, they won majorities in both houses of the legislature for the first time in 140 years. This year, they gained super majorities.
Democrats can find their voice and recruit dream candidates, but they won't stand a chance to win back the legislature until their party's presidential nominees are at least competitive in this state.