Tennessee Primary Results Thread

12:12am: With all 259 precincts reporting, we are done, and the AP has called Diane Black the winner. She’s at 31, with Zelenik and Tracy at 30. Black beats Zelenik by 813 votes, while Zelenik takes 2nd over Tracy by a mere 15 votes. But there’s no runoff, so it’s academic. Black will face Brett Carter in November, who won the Dem primary 30-29-29 over Barry and Leming. Somewhere in there, too, the AP called TN-04 for Scott DesJarlais, who beat Jack Bailey 37-27 in the end. And with that, we’re done for the night.

11:32pm: Now we’re up to 96% reporting in TN-06. Black has retaken the lead, as I somewhat expected, as Sumner and Trousdale Counties finally came in. She’s at 31, with Zelenik and Tracy at 30. Black’s lead is 800, with only 11 precincts left to report, so I think this’ll hold for her. On the Dem side, it’s very tight too, with Brett Carter at 30, and Barry and Leming both at 29. Carter’s lead is only 158 votes.

11:16pm: Whoa! Late breaking excitement in TN-06. Jim Tracy shoots from 3rd to 1st, while Diane Black falls from 1st to 3rd. It’s now 31 Tracy, 31 Zelenik, 29 Black, with Tracy up by 300, with 88% reporting. Outstanding precincts are in Sumner and Putnam Counties. (Sumner is Black’s base, though, so maybe she can mount a comeback. Rutherford, Zelenik’s base, is through.)

11:13pm: Although, to Marceaux’s credit, he did at least break the 1% mark in TN-03, unlike TN-Gov. (Or, technically, the 0.7% mark.)

11:09pm: The AP has called TN-03 for Chuck Fleischmann. (And not Basil Marceaux, who’s batting 0-for-2 on the night.) Fleischmann beats Robin Smith 30-28, with a margin of 1,300, with 98% reporting. His Democratic opponent in this open seat in November will be J. Wolfe. (No, never heard of him (or her) either.)

10:58pm: In the other close race left that we’re following, in TN-06, with 74% reporting, Diane Black is at 31, with Zelenik and Tracy at 30. (Still.) Black’s lead is up to 800 votes, though.

10:56pm: No call yet in TN-03, but we’re near the end: with 95% reporting, Chuck Fleischmann is adding a little more distance on Robin Smith: 29-28, with a 900-vote margin.

10:34pm: Looks like Scott DesJarlais is going to be the GOP nominee in TN-04. With 74% in, the numbers there are still basically the same; he leads Jack Bailey 35-28.

10:32pm: We’ve jumped to 78% reporting in TN-09, and things are still pretty much the same: Cohen leads Herenton 79-21. Race card fail.

10:25pm: Here’s some interesting symmetry. The Democratic primary in TN-06 is almost equally tight. Bret Carter is in 1st at 31, followed by the previously unheralded H. Barry at 30 and Ben Leming (the guy I think we were supposed to be rooting for) at 28.

10:20pm: To approximately quote Dan Rather, TN-06 is tighter than a tick in a wet bathing suit on a hot day in a Volkswagen Bug full of clowns. With 58% reporting, Diane Black is at 31, with Zelenik and Tracy both at 30. Black’s lead is about 700 votes.

10:13pm: With 84% in, Chuck Fleischmann is just barely starting to pull ahead of Robin Smith in TN-03. They both at 29%, but Fleischmann has a lead of about 500 votes now.

10:09pm: The AP just called TN-08 for Stephen Fincher. With 67% in, Fincher’s at 51, with 25 for Kirkland and 22 for Flinn (who is most definitely not “in”).

10:03pm: The AP is only listing one precinct as reporting in TN-09, but they’ve already called the race. The Steve Cohen 81-19 lead over Willie Herenton still seems to be holding.

10:02pm: Wow, things are a tight three-way in TN-06 also. Black and Zelenik are both at 31, with Tracy at 30. Black’s lead is a mere 90 votes, with 38% reporting.

10:00pm: We’ve rounded the bend in most races now. With 75% reporting, in TN-03, it’s still 30-30 for Smith and Fleischmann. Smith leads by only 38 votes!

9:30pm: Thanks to Johnny Longtorso in comments (and his ability to navigate the awful Shelby Co. Elections website), we know that the 3:1 margin is TN-09 is indeed panning out. Except it’s for Steve Cohen, who leads Willie Herenton 81-19.

9:26pm: And with about 10% in in TN-08, Stephen Fincher is still far ahead, leading to many sighs of relief at 1 NRCC Plaza. Fincher’s at 50, with 28 for Kirkland and 19 for Flinn. (And if you’re wondering about TN-09, still no reports at all from there.)

9:25pm: Things are tightening up in TN-06 R, although only 5% are in, as Zelenik and Tracy counties are reporting more. It’s Black 35, Zelenik 31, Tracy 28.

9:21pm: In TN-04, with about 15% in, Scott DesJarlais leads Jack Bailey 34-28 in the GOP primary. I don’t know anything about these guys, but whoever wins will hope to ride the wave and the “Generic R” slot and hope it gets him over the top against Lincoln Davis.

9:19pm: With 16% reporting, things are still very tight in TN-03. Robin Smith is up 29-28 over Chuck Fleischmann with a 300 vote lead. Tim Gobble is at 18, sadly, meaning we’ll probably never get to see the Gobble-Fudge Act.

9:06pm: The Dem primary in TN-06, in an open seat race that the DCCC (or us) doesn’t seem to have put much stock in, there’s a pretty close race. Bret Carter leads Ben Leming 33-30.

9:03pm: First, let me point in Zach Wamp’s direction and assume my Nelson Muntz voice. HA HA! Now let’s look at the county-by-county results. The only county that Wamp seems to have won is his own county (Hamilton), and the only counties Ramsey seems to have won are is his own (Sullivan) and its immediate neighbor (Johnson). Haslam won everything else that’s reported anything, and that’s all she wrote.

9:00pm: Holy crap, the AP has already called TN-Gov. The big red check mark is next to Bill Haslam’s name. That’s with only 4% reporting. He’s at 52, with 27 for Wamp, 20 for Ramsey, and 0 for Marceaux.

8:58pm: We have only 1% reporting in TN-06, but the numbers seem to match Diane Black’s internal. She’s in the lead at 45, with 26 for Lou Ann Zelenik and 24 for Jim Tracy.

8:55pm: No precincts are reporting in TN-08, but it looks like there are a lot (more than 10,000) of early votes reported. In the GOP primary, humble gospel-singer/agribusiness mogul Stephen Fincher has a big lead at 50, with Ron Kirkland at 32 and George Flinn at 15.

8:52pm: Things are no better in the TN-03 primary. Basil Marceaux is also polling 0% there. It’s a pretty tight race between Robin Smith (at 30) and Chuck Fleischmann (at 28) with Tim Gobble in 3rd at 19. That’s with 2% reporting.

8:49pm: Things are very slow to get started here, but so far, Basil Marceaux is off to a great start here. He’s at 0% in the TN-Gov primary. Bill Haslam is at 53, with Zach Wamp at 27 and Ron Ramsey at 19. But that’s with just 1% reporting so far, so bear in mind there’s still time for all those Marceaux precincts to come in.

Here’s a question for you all to ponder, as we await results on this very unusual Thursday night edition of liveblogging: Basil Marceaux, as you may know, is somehow on the ballot for both TN-Gov and TN-03. With the expectation, of course, that he wins both of those races in November, which job should he choose? Is federal or state office a more appropriate vehicle for his particular, um, agenda?


     Associated Press | Politico | TN SoS

93 thoughts on “Tennessee Primary Results Thread”

  1. He would pick Governor I am sure. Marceaux has made it clear he wants the highest office he could obtain, because he wants power to implement his….um…..I guess you would call them policies….but more like streams of conscious thought in semi-verbalized form.

  2. i guess they knew the rest of the state will go so heavily for Basil Marceaux.com (notice, NO scar)they might as well call it for him.

  3. Where Palin endorsed CeCe Heil is in second place, with 21% to D. Hall’s 45%. 2 precints in.

  4. http://www.tennessean.com/arti

    Ten­nessee Demo­c­ra­tic Party chair­man Chip For­rester says the party may sue over errors in Shelby County.

    For­rester said vot­ers were turned away from polling sta­tions after elec­tion work­ers loaded early vot­ing lists from May into com­puter sys­tems instead of early vot­ing lists from the cur­rent pri­mary

  5. I didn’t even know about this guy. Ugh, this is a terrible cycle for candidates with awesome names. alas, I can hear the ghost of Chester Falling from OK-02 crying. (although chances are Gobble’s wingnut enough that we’d never see Gobble-Fudge anyway).

  6. Hard to believe people were talking this guy up as a tough challenge for Cohen.

    Cohen 44297 80%

    Herenton 10799 20%

    43% reporting

  7. a candidate surnamed Crangle. There is something about that race that just attracted people with funny names or something.

    btw, TN-08 just called for Fincher.

  8. Eric Swafford (HD-25) just got his birther ass handed to him by Cameron Sexton, 63-37. Swafford was one of the first to sign on to the birther train.

  9. I’m not 100% sure where the remaining votes are, but I’ve heard that Anderson County hasn’t reported much. However, among those unreported votes, I have it on good authority that Robin is doing very poorly. Is it too soon to say that Fleischmann will be the next congressman for TN-03?

  10. Kirkland lost his home county, Madison, by a huge margin. Jackson, the district’s largest city is in Madison, and I am wondering if Kirkland even carried the city. I haven’t seen the box numbers yet, as the state website is still down.

    Fincher – 7000

    Kirkland -4080

    Flinn – 1038

    Source (Post Politics): http://politics.nashvillepost….

    I starting betting on a Fincher win after I started hearing a lot of blow back about Kirkland’s negative mailer and television campaigns, but I never thought he’d collapse so bad as to get crushed in his home county.  

  11. She is in 2nd place in Rutherford County, where she was GOP chair. However, she still has time to pull ahead. She trails Tracy 43-41, with 20/48 reporting. She needs to do very well in the remaining precincts to win the race, as this is a big county. Good news for Black: She is winning Sumner county with 60%, and this appears to be the county where the most votes were cast. 10 precincts left there. Ya’ll should probably be rooting for Zelenik, as she will have the least amount of cash to transfer to NRCC once she gets put in Frontier program.  

  12. he only leads by 800 votes, but with 94% of the vote in that could be enough. anyone know if most outstanding precincts are in Smith strongholds?

  13. Who is less obnoxious in TN-3: Smith, or Fleischmann ?

    Smith, in quite a few ways is rather slimy. Still, that doesn’t make Fleischmann good.

    Also, since we’re mentioning odd names, Fleischmann just happens to be named after a truly awful brand of hard liquor that’s popular in Wisconsin. But then again, he’s not the first House member to be named as such; there’s also the infamous Joe Barton.

  14. has so far gotten 616 votes in the House primary, for 1%.  And slightly over 3,000 votes in the Governor primary, for 0%.

    He just doesn’t have the Mumpower this go around, methinks.

  15. Herron looks bad garnering only 68.2 against a “no name” who did absolutely no campaigning. On the other hand, he did absolutely no campaigning either.

    It appears folks are expressing some severe dislike of Herron to pick to pick the other name on the ballot, as he fairly high name ID. My wife would like to have voted against Herron, but voted for him, so apparently her sentiment is fairly prevalent and people are acting on it.  

  16. 88% in, it’s Tracy-Zelenik-Black 31.0-30.6-29.2. On the Dem side it’s Carter-Leming-Barry 29.7-29.3-28.9.

  17. I like Brett Carter’s chances to hold on on the Dem side unless one of the others has enormous strength in Trousdale, which has not reported at all.

    Cannot make a call on the GOP side.  Black has a lot of votes left to win in Sumner, and Zelenik has some to win in Overton.  Again Trousdale has not reported.  Going to be about the closest three-way race imaginable.

  18. 95.8% in and she leads Zelenik by ~800. Too few votes left to close the gap. Barry’s only 150 behind Carter on the D side though.

  19. Gov- Well I was hoping for Wamp to win tonight because I honestly thought we stood a chance with him. Alas it is probably for the best as he would still be favored to win and I do not want a nut like him in higher office. I am not sure if I would classify Haslam as moderate per say but by Tennessee standards he probably is. I thought him being a former member of Mayors against illegal guns would hurt him but I guess not. This races is probably between lean and likely R. It was nice while we had it anyway.

    TN-09- Does this surprise anyone? I hope this finally puts an end to Republicans accusing everyone of color they hate of being reverse racist. That just pisses me the hell off. This proves that no one buys into what the conservatives think many black pols or blacks in general think. Thanks TN-09 you did the right thing.  

  20. His son was supposedly running for the state house in district 29, but the AP doesn’t even have that race listed at all in the GOP primary.  Did he never qualify for the ballot?

  21. extremely close primary races in one state as yesterday in Tennessee. At least – in 2010. And it’s far from being a biggest state in nation. Are any recounts possible?

  22. Basil will be lucky probably to garner 1-2% based off gag votes generated by his sudden “popularity”. If he garners much more than that, then it will be pretty unsettling IMO.

  23. If Cooper’s opponent finishes the night at 40% than it will speak volumes on dissatisfaction within the Democratic base with his job performance. Nobody would have seen it coming, and it would feed into a bubbling narrative that he might have a closer than expected GE, which is currently discounted as Republican fantasy.


  24. His district is Dem-leaning, but not overwhelmingly so, and two of his Republican opponents have raised over a quarter million so far.

  25. I would contend the greatest fault of TN Democrats is their ability to take races for granted and get punched in the face over and over. This has played out the state legislature over the last 14 years to severe detriment to the party.

  26. I came here to post it, and saw yours, but wanted to note who was in first place and how bad she was losing. Also, it should be noted that despite being endorsed by Palin, she has yet to file and FEC report, meaning she has not even raised or spent 5k.

  27. 24 in the last poll taken of this race?


    It looks bad only if you are playing a “loss is a loss” game and ignoring any type of context as to where the person was at the time of the endorsement.

  28. If you look at Arkansas, Cecile Bledsoe made a massive comeback in the run off on the back of a Palin endorsement and lost by just two points yet people still declared it a defeat for Palin.

  29. Which is pretty stunning to me given what you have reported about her financial position prior to Palin’s endorsement.

    I’d say Heil performed pretty well considering she was down 25 in early July (prior to Palin’s endorsement) without having spent or raised $5,000.

  30. I had not heard any word of any word on any Republican incumbents being in trouble in their primaries this cycle. Interesting development.

  31. But looking at early ballots, it’s heading to be one of Fleischmann’s strongest counties. Robin would need to sweep Union county and it’s not lookin’ likely.

    Damn, we need more women in our caucas.

  32. for the loss of racist Robin Smith, though I don’t know if Fleischmann would be that much better.

  33. I have to say that Fleischmann struck me as a decent guy, even if he’s clueless about the issues. Robin on the other hand is just a bad person who plays some of the dirtiest politics I’ve seen in TN, and THAT is saying something. I’d much rather have Chuck there than Robin.

  34. if you want to risk Michele Bachmann v2.0 I guess I can’t complain. If Smith got more press for her “Anti-Semites for Obama” racist bullcrap she could probably do more to make your party look like the racist party. I dunno, if I were a Republican I’d be cheering for Fleischmann.

  35. Who are nearly certain to win their general elections, but are not incumbents. They are encouraged to help raise money for the NRCC, and some even donate directly to them from their campaign accounts, like Todd Rokita in IN.  

  36. that if I lived in TN-03, I would’ve gone to vote for Fleischmann. I don’t want that woman anywhere near Congress.

  37. She’s awful and as dirty as they come. She’s basically a Zach “Let’s secede from the Union” Wamp prot√©g√©.

  38. that a sign of weakness for him? I have to admit, I feel better about this race than I did 12 hrs ago. Fincher had a pretty dominant win, after being outspent by the Kirkland brothers and Flinn. This will probably be the most expensive congressional election of the cycle. Flinn spent more than 3 million, the Kirkland’s spent more than 1.7 million, probably very close to 2 and Fincher has spent a lot too. Fincher and Herron will spend a lot more come November too.  

  39. but I’m glad Kirkland didn’t win. Otherwise he and his brother would of buried Herron in a mountain of negative ads.

  40. You have to be happy with the strength of the Haslam and Fincher wins.

    Not sure if Herron’s numbers are a sign of weakness or a sign of saving his pennies and ignoring the primary.  Maybe a little Alvin Greene effect for Kim Smith, who raised no money.  In any event, certainly not a great sign for the Dems there.  Just not sure how bad either.

    Plus probably the best GOPer’s won in TN-04 and TN-05.  Both are longshots that could happen in a wave, with TN-04 much more likely to flip than TN-05.  Neither Davis nor Cooper has been strong on the fundraising front.

    Tight GOP primaries in TN-03 and TN-06 are academic.  The Republican nominee will win each of these easily.

  41. DesJarlais has been a pretty poor fundraiser; he’s been in the race for a year, but has only managed to raise $321k.  

  42. Either it shows his name ID was not nearly as high as thought, or IMO, it shows that people who know Herron aren’t overly supportive of his candidacy. I know with-in his senate district he has coasted by for years with only one semi-serious challenge to speak of after first being elected in 1996. You will hear a lot of folks who vote for Herron who REALLY dislike him. He tends to show up to events that his district’s House members or neighboring Senators do the groundwork on to get in on the photo-op, esp. on economic development projects. For example, he rarely takes the lead on any economic development projects, but when the dirt is turned he is ALWAYS in the photo. He is also notorious on not returning phone calls or following through on commitments unless it directly benefits him.

    In the case my wife she thinks he is a sleazy say-any-thing and exploit anybody type of politician. She will vote for him over Fincher, but she would have voted for Kirkland, even though Kirkland favored repealing the healthcare bill, which she supports. So that says a lot no?  

  43. He and Bailey are six of one, half dozen of the other.  

    Kind of the same between Hall and Hartline in TN-05.  Heil getting through there would have been music to Jim Cooper’s ears.

    My point is that the GOP hasn’t given any gifts tonight, as they potentially did in MI-01 on Tuesday, depending on how the recount goes.

  44. Do people running for the House have to release financial info to the House like for Senate? I want to see his. He’s a doctor, which naturally makes you think he may have some money to spend.  

  45. for Carter.

    That just about does it for TN primary night, at least on the state/federal levels. See you guys next time, I believe Tuesday is Connecticut, Colorado, and Minnesota? Hopefully I won’t be too jetlagged to stay up!

  46. It appears name ID is the problem, Herron way underperformed in Madison, Haywood, Dyer (which used to be in his district actually), and Smith actually won Shelby County.  

  47. I’m a hard-core Dem, but I have to say Sheriff Mark Luttrell (R)will be a much better County Mayor for Shelby County in terms of credibility and economic development than Joe Ford (D). Luttrell actually lives in Memphis, while Ford lives in the suburbs, so it was a weird dynamic.

    Memphis and Shelby County now seem set on a good path, as I think Memphis Mayor Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Luttrell will work well together and move Memphis forward now that the Herenton and Ford political machines appear to be in the dust-bin of history.

  48. they won every office except 1 in 2006

    something has to be said for the huge number of offices that don’t need to be elected and the Shelby County Democratic Party’s oddities in nominating candidates.

  49. who Yarbro is, what’s with the nasty comments in that link about what he did to Rosalind Kurita?  I barely remember that name from a while back.

  50. Yarbro is a young Democratic lawyer who challenged a long-time Democratic lion of the Senate, Doug Henry. Henry is a conservative Democrat who has served since 1971, ousting him would be a big coup. Yarbro chose wisely to run this cycle, as many Republicans in this wealthy Senate District (TN 21) would have crossed over and probably voted for him had the Governors Race not have been so large this year.

    Those awful comments (which should be ignored) are in relation to Yarbro apparently being part of a group that got Democratic Senator Roslind Kurita’s 19 vote victory over Tim Barnes in a 2008 primary thrown out over concerns of voting irregularities by the Democratic Party’s Executive Committee. Now some folks think the foot is on the other foot, and the party leaders might protect Henry if Yarbro was to end up with more votes.

  51. what happened to your guy Staton?  Finished 3rd behind Wolfe and Short, who I don’t even know if they’re male or female.  Not enough name ID?

  52. It would be nice to have more non-white representatives in Congress, not just in majority-minority districts, but everywhere.  

    I looked back at the TN-09 primary results from 2006 when the seat came open and was surprised that there really weren’t any decent African-American candidates not named Ford who got any support.  All of the other candidates who got over 9% ran explicitly anti-white, anti-Semitic campaigns, as far as I could tell.  The vast majority of the progressive African-American community in Memphis must really love Steve Cohen for them not to have run any serious candidates even when it was an open seat in 2006.  

  53. We basically think we got burned by the fact that the press gave no attention to the Democratic side of the race, so John Wolfe was the most known quantity since he had won the primary in 2002 and 2004 as well I believe. I can’t tell you how many Democrats I had to ask to vote in our primary rather than the Republican primary. Brenda Freeman Short ran with the support of Marilyn Lloyd and presumably got some support from people who wanted to see a non-Robin Smith woman in the race, although Short is actually quite conservative even for a Tennessee Democrat.

    Oh well, welcome Congressman Fleischmann…hopefully, we’ll have another whack at the apple in 2012.

  54. is much more progressive than Harold Ford Jr. or Herenton. From what I read, Cohen cares deeply about Memphis, even so he asked if he could join Congressional Black Caucus under the rationale that most of his constituents were black. The CBC as expected turned down his request, but they clearly respected him enough to donate to his reelection campaign this year.  

  55. as far as Gov and House races go. If you want recount fun, you’re best off looking at MI-01, and maybe MI-02 but I wouldn’t get my hopes up there.

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