In some Democratic quarters, the idea that this open Senate seat where Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is retiring is within their reach has been a hard sell. After all, with the exception of winning the 2002 gubernatorial contest, Democrats have had something of a dry spell here.

Republicans won both Senate seats in 1994 and President Bush won the state in 2000, defeating favorite son Al Gore. Bush improved his performance in the state in 2004. But, Democrats are hardly in the wilderness. In addition to the governorship, they hold five of nine congressional seats and have a seven-seat majority in the state House; Republicans have a two-seat majority in the state Senate. Even so, there are some Democrats who are only now coming to believe that they even have a shot at this Senate seat.

Rep. Harold Ford, Jr., the Democratic nominee, has been running a strong race. He has traveled the state to stake out moderate positions on a host of issues from homeland security to immigration. He is not afraid to talk about his faith or

More from the Cook Political Report

Trump Biden
Free
2024 Swing State Project
AW
Larger logo
Free
2024 Swing State Project
Cook Politcal Logo