Two Longtime Political Analysts Look Ahead To Wednesday’s TN U.S. Senate Debate

Local News

The two main candidates in Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race face each other in a prime-time debate Wednesday night. State capitol newsroom reporter Chris Bundgaard tells us why it’s critical to both Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen.

Two longtime political analysts in Tennessee, one leaning Republican and other leaning Democrat, look ahead to the debate.

“Marsha was very aggressive in the last debate. I think she also has to come across as likable,” says Steve Gill.

“Bredesen has been successful at pigeonholing her as, which is a Washington lackey,” says Bruce Dobie.

Having been around Tennessee politics for decades, Bruce Dobie and Steve Gill are well equipped with views on the second and final U.S. Senate debate between Bredesen and Blackburn.

Dobie, a former weekly newspaper publisher, outlines what former Governor Bredesen needs to do.

“He is going after those independent swing voters,” says Dobie. “They may be Republican, they may be Democrat, but they vote on the individual and not the party and Phil tonight has really go to seal the deal with those people.”

Gill, a one-time Congressional candidate and now website publisher, looks at what remains a key point for Blackburn.

“It has become a nationalized election, and that is not good for Phil Bredesen because Marsha is going to have to make the point and her outside groups are making the point that this is not about Phil Bredesen being Governor. It’s about how he will go to Washington and be part of the Democrat machine,” says Gill.

No one doubts that the debate could be critical to determine the outcome of Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race.

Both Gill and Dobie will be part of a pre-debate special at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday that can be seen at

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