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banner Friday, 7 January, 2000, 17:45 GMT
Tennessee

Al Gore's home state is an important state in presidential elections and a good barometer of public opinion.

Key facts
Population: 5,319,654 (ranked 17 among states)
Governor: Don Sundquist (R)
Electoral College votes: 11
Political divisions can be traced back as far as the Civil War and most counties still honour their 1860s allegiance. The Union counties in the east are strongly Republican while Democrats are dominant in the Confederate counties of mid and west Tennessee.

1998 Congress
House of Representatives: 4 Democrats, 5 Republicans
Senate: 2 Republicans
In 1996 this balance produced a very tight result as Democrats poured resources into the state and Al Gore made 16 campaign appearances, signifying the value of the state and the lengths required to win it. This is particularly true for Democrats since the flavour of Tennessee is increasingly Republican and without Al Gore on the ticket, Bill Clinton would almost certainly have lost the state in the last two elections.

Voting record
1996: Clinton 48%, Dole 46%
1992: Clinton 47%, Bush 42%
1988: Bush 58%, Dukakis 42%
In 1994 Republican Fred Thompson won the rest of Gore's Senate term by a landslide and Republicans kept their majority in the House. In 1998 Governor Don Sundquist was also re-elected by an impressive margin.

The 1990s swing to the Republicans was centred on mid Tennessee where manufacturing investment from firms such as Nissan and General Motors softened the traditional Democratic loyalties of areas such as Nashville.

Both parties will want to win here and the result promises to be close.

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Links to more States stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to more States stories