Feb. 11, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Tennessee - 2nd District

Incumbent -- John J. "Jimmy" Duncan Jr. (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Nestled in the valley of the Great Smoky Mountains at the mouth of the Tennessee River, the 2nd envelops Knoxville and stretches south and west to include several conservative, rural counties. The district's economy is almost solely determined by the success of Knoxville, while surrounding areas are full of small towns and forests, lakes and parks.

State budget shortfalls have threatened government- and state-funded higher education jobs, a sector that area residents have relied on for economic stability despite their criticisms of big government year after year. Restaurants, hotels and other businesses in the district still depend on revenue from the influx of people who attend sporting events at the University of Tennessee, which is located in Knoxville. On football game days, the university's Neyland Stadium accommodates more than 102,000 orange-and-white clad Volunteer fans. The university's basketball arena and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame also draw significant crowds.

Knoxville had struggled for years to revitalize its downtown, but state and private medical facilities have spurred some economic growth, and redevelopment plans for East Knoxville continue. Rejuvenated areas of the city, such as historic Market Square, now attract many tourists. The district's less populous rural regions provide a tourist destination outside of Knoxville's orbit and continue to lure visitors to mountain locales.

Like all of East Tennessee, the 2nd has a long history of voting Republican, and the district has not sent a Democrat to the U.S. House since before the Civil War. Downtown Knoxville, which includes much of the city's black population and is the only real Democratic pocket, could not prevent Bill Haslam from taking more than 80 percent of the 2010 gubernatorial vote in surrounding Knox County. He won each of the 2nd's other counties by similarly wide margins.

Major Industry

Higher education, medical services, tourism, government


Knoxville, 178,874; Maryville, 27,465; Farragut, 20,676; Athens, 13,458


A statue in Haley Heritage Square honors "Roots" author Alex Haley; the town of Alcoa is named after the company whose plant there produces enough aluminum every minute to make 75,000 beverage cans.




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