by Jeff Woods
“We now have more than 1,000 volunteers, which is terrific,” Leahy said. “We are going to kick off our door-to-door campaign on January 25th. The goal is to knock on 15,000 doors of Republican primary voters across the state of Tennessee on that one day.” By the campaign’s end next year, Leahy said, the goal is a half-million.
On this week’s public opinion polls, Leahy pointed out, “Both are bad news for Lamar Alexander” because they show his approval rating under 50 percent, and that means the senator is vulnerable.
“If an incumbent member of Congress is underneath 50 percent approval, they are in big, big trouble, and Lamar Alexander is in big trouble,” Leahy said.
Whether Beat Lamar’s candidate, Joe Carr, is the guy to exploit Alexander’s weakness is the question. Knocking on doors certainly helps, but what Carr really needs is a few million dollars next year for TV ads slamming Alexander as a squish and sellout. That depends on the generosity of the Koch brothers and other outside conservative funders. They didn't need it, but TV admakers were handed yet more ammo with this week's arrest of Alexander's chief of staff on child porn charges.
Vanderbilt political scientist Josh Clinton sums it up: “If you have a good challenger, who can make and highlight the faults or perceived faults of the incumbent, then you can make things interesting. Now, whether or not Joe Carr has those characteristics and can attract outside donors, given his low level of awareness and approval, that’s hard to see at this point.”