Frank Cagle talks with Knoxville attorney Gordon Ball – disclosing that the two are friends – about the path to a potential Democratic victory in this year’s U.S. Senate race. An excerpt:
Ball believes that a Democratic primary with him and Knoxville attorney Terry Adams (the other announced candidate) competing will generate some excitement in the party and will help other Democrats on the ballot. A primary might also give Democrats a reason to vote for their party nominees rather than cross over in large numbers to vote for Alexander.
Without Democratic crossover votes, and with a purely Republican turnout, it helps state Rep. Joe Carr, the conservative candidate opposing Alexander in the primary. Should Carr succeed in knocking Alexander off in the primary, moderate Republicans might be convinced to vote for the Democratic nominee in November.
…Whether such a scenario could play out in Tennessee is an open question, but it is an argument Ball and Adams can make in seeking support and contributions. It’s a long-shot, but it’s a shot. It it also an argument that can help stave off the perception among political reporters and donors that an Alexander win is inevitable.
Ball is a traditional conservative Southern Democrat, slightly right of center, for low taxes, balanced budgets, and that sort of thing. He’s more libertarian on social issues. Pro-choice. He sees gay marriage as a state issue and believes that what people do in their bedrooms isn’t the federal government’s business.
He sees a major issue in the campaign as the reform, or replacement, of Obamacare. He says the Affordable Care Act is needlessly complicated and gives insurance companies too great an influence in health care. He will campaign to keep provisions like covering pre-existing conditions and letting young people stay on their parents’ policies longer. But he advocates repealing the insurance-company exemption from federal anti-trust laws, which enables them to lock up markets within states and leaves customers no place else to go.