|2008: Cooper (D) 66%, Donovan (R) 31%||2008: Obama (D) 56%, McCain (R) 43%
|2006: Cooper (D) 69%, Kovach (R) 28%||2004: Kerry (D) 52%, Bush (R) 47%
|2004: Cooper (D) 69%, Knapp (R) 31%||2000: Gore (D) 57%, Bush (R) 41%
In an increasingly Republican state, Nashville and Memphis represent the only remaining pockets of true Democratic strength. The 5th district – which includes Nashville and some of its suburbs – gave John Kerry 52 percent of its vote and Barack Obama 56 percent; Davidson County’s 60 percent vote share for Obama was just shy of Shelby County’s 64 percent.
Jim Cooper represented a rural Tennessee district until he decided to run for the Senate in 1994. He lost to Fred Thompson – badly – and his career seemed to be in limbo until Democrat Bob Clement decided to run for Thompson’s open seat in 2002, and Cooper replaced him. Although his district is much more solidly Democratic than his old seat, Cooper is still something of a fiscal conservative; he voted against a version of the stimulus and was a late vote for the health care plan.
Cooper’s district is Democratic enough that he shouldn’t have any problem with re-election. His opponent, building contractor David Hall, has raised a quarter of a million dollars as of the end of the second quarter, which is a respectable amount. If the wave gets big enough, it could carry Hall in with it, but Cooper starts out with the edge.