Out of power for years, Tennessee Democrats see some hope

Out of power for years, Tennessee Democrats see some hope
FILE-In this March 26, 2014, file photo, Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, speaks during a meeting of the Senate Education Committee in Nashville, Tenn. The dynamic has made for a compelling state Senate contest in suburban Memphis, where scientist and three-time cancer survivor Gabby Salinas upended a candidate with more money in the August Democratic primary. She now faces GOP state Kelsey, who didn't even have a Democratic challenger four years ago. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Democrats know something about disappointment. The last time voters chose a governor, the party pinned its hopes on a longshot punchline named Charlie Brown. He was trounced by 30 percentage points.

Two years before that, Democrats lost a Senate race in a blowout. Republican Sen. Bob Corker beat Mark Clayton, who was disavowed by state Democratic leaders for anti-gay views.

This year might be different for Tennessee Democrats. There are no incumbents for Senate and governor. The party has put up candidates in legislative races where it hasn’t competed in years.

Democrats see opportunities in the suburbs, where President Trump gets a cooler reception, specifically among women, despite polling well statewide.

But on a larger scale, Tennessee doesn’t look ripe for a blue wave to completely upend Republican rule.