While googling around for something else, I ran across this webpage from Open Secrets about political contributions from Tennesseans to national political campaigns in 2004, the last election cycle. It's eye-opening!
Tennesseans gave to Republicans over Democrats by a three to one margin. Twenty one million to seven million. Ranked nationally, Tennessee was number two of all fifty states in percentage giving to Republicans; number 49 to Democrats. Nashvillains outgave Memphians two to one; Knoxville equaled Memphis. Excellent news for the coming Senate race to replace retiring Bill Frist.
In county terms, all but twenty five of Tennessee's counties gave to Republicans at almost two to one or better. And most of that twenty-five are the thinly populated counties of West Tennessee.
The candidate with the most out of state contributions? Democrat Harold Ford, Jr. by a three to one margin over his closest competitor, Lamar! Alexander. In fact, Ford received more out of state money than the next five Republicans! That's something for Tennesseans to think about as Ford runs for Frist's Senate seat.
Something to remember when you start reading all the Ford adulation and boosterism of the state's newspapers. For those not from Memphis, the author of that free Ford ad is Bartholomew Sullivan, a Great Society Democrat. Notice, too, that Sullivan uses extensive, uninterrupted Ford quotes. You typically see this from a reporter seeking to praise or damn a person with their own words.
Anyway, something for the folks opposed to Democrats and Harold Ford, Jr. to keep in mind this coming season.