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Harold Ford, Jr. made a short-notice campaign stop early this morning at the firehouse down the street in my suburban Nashville neighborhood. We had 150+ people in a state assembly district where I've had to write in the name of my yellow dog two elections in a row for lack of a Democratic candidate. As red as this county has gone lately, Ford made time for the stop -- I'll tell you why we're more optimistic than Kos after the jump.

Here's the scoop: when the Ford campaign started working Sumner county last July before the August 3 primary and county  election, the object was not to lose by that much.

We've just finished early voting here, and the turnout was a good surprise: 42% up in our county.

Registration is nonpartisan in Tennessee, but we can get some notion of the early votes trends by looking at previous  D and R primary records. According to our estimates, Dems voted in numbers at least even with GOP voters here for the first time in recent memory. Some of those habitual Republican voters, and some of the occasional and first-time voters whose history we can't guess voted for Ford, and I'm betting that group goes more for Ford than for Corker.

According to the Nashville Tennessean, Turnout is up among youngest voters.

The Nashville Post says Nashville's early vote turnout was 32 percent above average

Our local party made between 500 and 1000 phone bank calls in each of 6 sessions in the last two weeks, and we have a BIG canvass going out tomorrow. This, of course, is going on all around the state.

Oh, and Sunday, Barak Obama will be here for a big, big downtown Nashville rally.

If you're in the area, email stillblue at and we'll tell you how you can pitch in in Sumner County.

Originally posted to OldYellerDog on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 10:11 AM PST.

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