Sabato's Crystal Ball

Tennessee (04) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans R

Democratic candidate: Lincoln Davis, Incumbent

Republican candidate: Scott Desjarlais, Doctor

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Background:

Rep. Lincoln Davis’s decision to stay put and not retire or run for statewide office greatly increased the chances of Democrats retaining this critical district. Though the 4th District of Tennessee is has a conservative and Republican lean, Davis has been in office in 2002. He has effectively represented this rural areas’ issue in Congress since and has gained the trust of many.

His Republican contender is Dr. Scott Desjarlais, who survived a competitive August GOP primary and is now the official GOP nominee. Perhaps an indication of Davis’s anxiety about November, he revealed some opposition research showing that DesJarlais has not paid taxes and once asked a court to reduce his child support. Though DesJarlais dismissed such claims, it does appear that Davis effectively demonstrated DesJarlais inability to handle financial matters and thus is unfit for office.

In what is proving to be a dangerous election year for Democrats, Davis is in unique position for he is one of the few incumbent Democrats who has a lead over a Republican contender. This race is Leans Democratic.