This article was part of our September 1st, 2022 newsletter which you can read in full here.
Republican US Congressional candidates in districts 5, 6, and 7 are slowly rolling out their campaigns for November while Democratic candidates seem to be hitting the ground running… on abortion.
REPUBLICANS RUNNING FOR CONGRESS IN DISTRICTS 5, 6, & 7
Both incumbent Republican Congressmen Mark Green (R–7) and John Rose (R–6) have started to steadily take up their campaign platforms. Newcomer Andy Ogles (R–5) has yet to come out the gate and has been notably silent on social media since August 10th. In his last tweet he disparaged the Biden administration for hiring 87,000 new IRS agents and declared he would reassign them all to border patrol or can them if elected to Congress.
GREEN AND ROSE ON BORDER POLICY
Congressmen Green and Rose are already tapping into a few key issues. Green recently visited the Mexican border in Arizona and spoke with members of the National Border Patrol Council to address a myriad of issues including how open border policies directly impact the growing opioid crisis that has ravaged Tennessee.
John Rose hit the same issue home when speaking with Brent Carl Fleshman on The Hub, a Cookeville news talk show. "Read the obituaries. You see a number of young people and so often – not always – but so often it's because of fentanyl. Drug related. We're losing a generation of young people," Rose made clear.
He's also taken the issue up in Washington. Rose on the floor in Congress said, "By dismantling Trump administration policies, President Biden sent a message to millions of people, including transnational criminal organizations, that our borders are open."
GREEN AND ROSE ON STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS
Green and Rose have also shot back at the Biden administration's early "October surprise" that came in the form of student loan forgiveness. Rose tweeted, "Tennesseans see this for what it is—a handout weeks away from midterm elections. This is a slap in the face to those who either paid off their loans or didn’t borrow in the first place." Green, striking a similar note, added, "In Joe Biden’s America, you pay student loan debt you didn’t take on."
DEMOCRATS GAINING GROUND RUNNING ON ABORTION
Democrats don't only have student loan forgiveness to lean on in November. Recent trends show the Supreme Court decision on the Dobbs case has given abortion new political life. A Gallup poll conducted around the time of the decision showed that 55% of Americans identify as pro-choice—the highest percentage since 1995. Democrats are capitalizing on the shift and have spent about $30M on ads specifically mentioning abortion since the draft document was leaked, according to CBS.
The strategy has been fruitful. New York pro-abortion candidate Pat Ryan (D) won a special House election running on abortion as his main issue and will be vying for a Congressional seat in November. Similar patterns proving abortion is contributing to Democratic victories are reflected in Sarah Palin's loss to pro-abortion Democrat Mary Peltola in Alaska and Kansans showing up to the ballot box to vote in favor of amending their state constitution to prevent a state-wide ban on abortion.
DEMOCRATS IN DISTRICTS 5, 6, & 7
Tennessee Democrats running for Congressional seats in Districts 5, 6, and 7 have taken notice:
"We are here today because our freedom to start our own family on our own terms is being taken away from us."
Heidi Campbell (D) running against Andy Ogles in District 5 speaking at a pro-abortion rally in Tennessee
"From the student debt crisis to abortion bans, Black women are disproportionately impacted by the most pressing issues of our time. The personal is political."
Odessa Kelly (D) running against Mark Green (R) in District 7
"The state is party to compounding the worst possible child abuse you can imagine."
Randall Cooper (D) running against John Rose (R) in District 6 criticizing Tennessee abortion bans
In order to secure votes, these Democratic Congressional candidates will have to activate apathetic voters and abortion might just be the ticket. US Congressional districts 5, 6, and 7 now share slices of Davidson County which has the most potential for Democratic influence, but Republicans shouldn't sleep on Democratic turnout that might emerge from traditionally Republican strongholds.