Corker unlikely to face serious opposition from left or right
A story by Jeff Woods in the Nashville City Paper says the Tea Party’s attacks on U.S. Sen. Bob Corker have diminished due to “Corker’s outrage over federal spending and the national debt.”
The article quotes Mark Skoda, a talk radio host and a leader in the Memphis Tea Party.
“A couple of folks called me who were interested in looking at running against Corker. I said, ‘Look, unless the guy is an apostate and turned into a liberal, why would you waste your money, your time and your energy to try to contend against this guy?’”
Skoda has figured in the national Tea Party scene, having helped found the National Tea Party Federation, but not all who self-affiliate with the movement consider him their spokesperson. (See this Free Republic thread.)
There still exists, then, the possibility that someone with Tea Party leanings will attempt a 2012 primary challenge or an independent candidacy in the general election (or both). Neither is likely to make much of a dent in Corker’s results, as he enjoys a rather imposing fundraising advantage; but some resentment lingers over a few of his votes.
Woods also laments the lack of Democratic Party wherewithal in finding a candidate to run against Corker, even as state party chair Chip Forrester prophesies that there will be one. Yes, there will be one, because the party cannot afford be seen as completely lying down in a statewide election. Yes, whoever that one is will be a so-called “sacrificial lamb.” If I had to guess, I’d say the party will be putting all its efforts into the few state legislative races it finds viable after redistricting is complete.
All of this means that Corker is very likely to be re-elected to a second term (2013 – 2019). The only outstanding question is whether he will refocus during that term to run for president in the 2016 election. Speculation has begun about that, but is of little use at this point in the game.
Bonus question: What will be the Tea Party’s influence by then?