(4 of 4)
For his part, Ford's strategy will be to treat Tennessee the way it usually behaves on Election Day--like three separate states. It is a variation on the game plan that got the state's popular Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen elected in 2002. Ford hopes his candidacy will boost African-American turnout to the levels it generally reaches only in presidential election years; that could add as many as 120,000 more votes statewide, about half of them from the western part of the state around Memphis. He is also working harder than most Democratic candidates do in Tennessee's conservative eastern edge, hoping to narrow Corker's margin there. That would leave the central part of Tennessee, and especially the fast-growing suburbs around Nashville, as the battleground where the election could be decided.
Harold Ford Jr. was raised in the tradition of old-style Southern politics, but if he wins, he could be creating a new one. He says, "It's harder for Senate Democrats or candidates to distinguish themselves from the national Democratic model." So instead, he's simply going to try to break it.