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Democrats tend to think of Tennessee fondly as the home state of Al Gore, America's most competent and accomplished Vice President and the fellow who would have won the 2000 presidential election but for a 5-4 straight "party-line vote" in the U.S. Supreme Court. Tennessee is also the cultural center of Southern and country-western culture in the United States. Memphis is known for its gospel scene and is the home of Graceland, a momument to Elvis. Nashville is home to numerous recording studios.

The state is often described as having three "grand divisions": West (Memphis), Middle (Nashville) and East (Chattanooga). Tennessee is one of the less reliably Republican states in the South, in part because the plantation culture that was so rooted in the Deep South didn't prosper in the small farmer hill country of Tennessee. The Tennessee Republican Party is also ideologically divided between the "Legacy" or Country Club Republicans of the East and the more strident Christian Right Republicans of the Middle and West.

The geographic and ideological divisions account for the strong primary candidacies of former Representative Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary, both of the strident variety, and more moderate Bob Corker, the mayor of Chattanooga.



  • During the Civil War, Tennessee produced the largest number of Confederate Army deserters who then took the oath of allegiance and joined the Union Army, 32% of the total!

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