Rep. Marsha Blackburn on Wednesday accelerated her Tennessee Senate campaign, placing an advance $1 million purchase of three months of statewide television advertising on Fox News leading into her Aug. 2 primary.
In a memorandum issued by Ward Baker, a senior Blackburn adviser, the congresswoman's campaign announced that the ad would hit the airwaves on April 27 in "all" major and small markets across Tennessee and run for a total of 14 weeks. The early buy was made to ensure lower rates during a period expected to see heavy advertising traffic because of several concurrent primary contests.
"We have reserved premium inventory within the highest rated programs for GOP primary voters on Fox News Network. With competitive races at the gubernatorial and congressional level demand for such inventory will be at an all time high," Baker said in the memo.
Blackburn is running to succeed retiring Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who is stepping down after two terms. She has the consensus support of high profile Republicans in the party's establishment and the conservative grassroots, and public opinion polls show her with the advantage in the primary. But there are other Republicans in the race, among them former Rep. Stephen Fincher.
The Democrats recruited ex-Gov. Phil Bredesen to run against Blackburn.
It's a big get for the Democrats, although Tennessee has become more solidly Republican since he was last elected in 2006 and the congresswoman would still appear to have the advantage, even in a midterm election shaping up as a backlash against President Trump.