Political experts weigh in on presidential rally

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — After Sunday night’s rally, political science professors are weighing in on why they think the president thought it would be important to come to Chattanooga.

Crews spent the morning taking down barricades outside McKenzie Arena. They cleared everything out after President Donald Trump’s rally.

Thousands of people attended to see the President and Vice President show their support for US Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn. She is running against former Governor Phil Bredesen.

Michelle Deardorff, UTC’s Political Science and Public Service Department head, says this is one of the closer races, so she wasn’t surprised they made a stop.

“The Senate race in particular is an important one. We have a former popular governor who is able to get a lot of Republican and Democratic votes running up against a slightly less popular Republican candidate and the Republican Party would like to maintain control of the Senate. So this is seen as one of the bellwether, one of the important races and so the Republican Party is pulling out all stops and so are the Democrats,” Deardorff said.

While some may see Tennessee as more conservative, Deardorff says that’s not always the case.

“We’ve had in recent years Democratic governors in Tennessee. We’ve had a lot of senators who are seen as Republican they are not seen as hardline Republicans, they are seen as people who cross the aisle and work with other people Republicans. We have a history of that,” Deardorff said.

The President and Vice President don’t often appear at events together, but Deardorff says in this case it made sense.

“Especially when you have a community where you’re worrying about moderate Republicans and preventing moderate Republicans crossing over in voting Democrat in the Senatorial race. You want to bring in your vice President as well who is going to appeal to a different group of Republicans,” she said.

As everything from the rally is taken away, the next thing up is the election.

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