Tennessee has a competitive primary race for Senator. Incumbent Lamar Alexander is getting a strong challenge from Tea Party favorite Joe Carr and Lamar could well pull an “Eric Cantor” next Tuesday and snatch defeat from the jaws of an easy victory. How is this possible you ask? Well, Joe can thank the “Campaigner-in-Chief,” none other than Barack Obama. Here’s a hint.
The big reason that Cantor got his clock cleaned in Virginia is what may well do in Lamar Alexander in Tennessee. Illegal immigration and the idea of amnesty, and President Obama’s open invitation to Illegals that is causing the border tsunami as brought renewed focus on illegal immigration.
As fate would have it, Carr already had a meeting with Ingraham scheduled in Washington, D.C., even before the Virginia surprise.
Ingraham, suddenly in the spotlight as a central figure for tackling Cantor’s support for immigration reform, indicated that she would be willing to support Carr’s unlikely challenge to Alexander.
It was certainly a bright moment for his campaign. And on Wednesday, Carr received the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, arguably the most significant endorsement a primary challenger could receive.
Realistically, Carr is a longshot to beat Alexander. It’s a statewide race as opposed to Cantor’s race and that makes organization and money a much bigger deal. Alexander has a huge lead in both areas. Upsetting a sitting US Senator is an enormous task, just look at Mississippi.
On the positive side, Carr has some good things going for him in this race.
Like Brat, Carr has spent most of his time focusing on Alexander’s record of supporting immigration reform, which the campaign sees as his Achilles heel.
“There’s no question it’s his greatest weakness, because it’s my greatest strength,” Carr said.
Carr has a record of battling illegal immigration on the state level.
Although Tennessee is not a border state, Carr cited up to a quarter of a million illegal immigrants living in the state, including 81,000 undocumented minors putting a burden on the state.
“It is a serious issue for Tennessee,” he said.
Carr points to tough reforms on illegal immigration that he personally worked on in the Tennessee House of Representatives. During his fights, Carr explained, he frequently found himself on the wrong side of the Republican establishment.
Joe Carr has statewide name recognition, though not to the extent of Alexander, and a solid record on which to run. Next Tuesday could be a banner day for conservatives in Tennessee if Joe can pull a victory out of the hat.
It would appear that the establishment is a tad nervous, they’re trotting out big names to endorse Lamar. Like Mike Huckabee. It’s desperation time when a candidate needs to enlist the help of a dyed-in-the-wool phony “conservative” like Mike. Lamar, who supported the Gang of Eight amnesty bill is lying through his teeth on the immigration/amnesty issue.
“I voted to double border security, to end perpetual amnesty, and create a legal immigration system, and if anybody’s got a better idea, they should suggest it,” Alexander said. In response to the flood of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, last week Alexander called for the National Guard to be sent to the border.
It’s going to be a tough race. There are five other candidates in the field, and while they’re unknowns, they will bleed off some no-Alexander votes, and the primary is winner wins, there’s no requirement, as in Mississippi, for a runoff.
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