Currently TN-05 is represented by blue dog member Jim Cooper. It has a cook PVI rating of D+3, and is one of the few non-minority based Democratic seats in the Southern United States. This has been a stronghold for the democratic party since the seat was last held by Republicans in 1873.
The seat is 70% white, and 30% non-white with African Americans and Hispanics accounting for the majority of the non-white vote. This is a seat that cannot be won without the help of the white citizenry of Nashville, and what makes it special is that the white citizenry tends to be college educated, students, (Nashville is known as the Athens of the South) and the city even voted down an English only bill that was offered a few years ago. Our mayor has been a vocal supporter of the gay rights movement. Our city council has passed pro-gay legislation, and there is absolutely no reason why someone with these ideals cannot be elected to replace Mr. Cooper.
When Harold Ford Jr. gave up his seat in TN-09, he was a member of the blue dog coalition, and was replaced by an extremely progressive state senator named Steve Cohen. The rest of the blue dogs were wiped out in the 2010 Republican wave. Cooper managed to receive about 56% of the vote in that election. This is obviously a seat that will not swing to the Republicans if they could not even capture it in a wave election. I am not one to encourage a primary challenge to an incumbent if we can't do any better, but I truly believe we can.
August 2, 2012 we vote in the TN-05 primary. I encourage all of you Nashvillians that are tired of being represented by a blue dog to leave that section of your ballot blank and send a message to Rep. Cooper that he either changes, becomes more progressive, or we will find someone to primary him in 2014. This is a guy that finds it tough to stand up for gay rights even when his city has backed them repeatedly. He does not represent Nashville, and we should in no way support him.
When Tennessee only has two democratic house seats left we want the strongest democratic representation that we can get and Rep. Cooper is not the best we can get. Act up and fight back! I am interested in your opinion about this seat because from where I'm sitting this seems like a perfect opportunity for a progressive democrat to replace a blue dog democrat with little worry that we will lose the seat. Give me your opinions I really want to know :-)