Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s September 26 announcement that he would retire at the end of this Congress creates an open seat that is likely to produce a heated battle for the GOP nomination between establishment Republicans and the Trumpian wing of the party. The prospect that Republicans could field a less than desirable nominee provides an opening for Democrats, even in this solidly red state.

There is no shortage of interest in the GOP nomination. The most biggest name considering the race is Gov. Bill Haslam, who is term-limited next year. Haslam remains fairly popular in his seventh year in office, but he has been critical of President Trump on a number of issues, which almost guarantees that he will get a challenge to his right. If Haslam doesn’t run, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn is likely to get in the race and might start as the nominal frontrunner; Blackburn is a strong Trump supporter. It’s an even-money bet as to whether she would challenge Haslam. Other Republicans mentioned as potential candidates are: U.S. Reps. Stephen Fincher and David Kustoff,

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