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Tennessee - 5th District

Incumbent -- Jim Cooper (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
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

Home of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the 5th's Nashville long has been known for its place in country music history. The state capital, however, has left behind that one-dimensional image to become a cosmopolitan mecca for tourism, culture and higher education.

Despite the district's rich music tradition, declining record sales have led to years of widespread layoffs across Nashville-based record labels and left once-humming studios and corporate offices along Music Row vacant. But many residents here rely on state government jobs, and Nashville is a higher education hub for the Volunteer State. Health care industries provide economic stability, and the city hosts several research facilities, including the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Recovery is ongoing from a major flood that destroyed billions of dollars in property in Nashville and forced record companies, retail shops, restaurants and businesses to close in 2010.

Nashville's Printers Alley is now an entertainment hotspot, but the name gives credence to the district's once-thriving publishing industry. Two large sports arenas -- the homes of football's Titans and hockey's Predators -- enhance the district's entertainment sector. Meanwhile, area suburbs still rely on tourists and locals to support the retail and service economies based around bargain stores and other attractions.

The Nashville area's growth, which spread across most of the 5th, attracted young, Republican-leaning, upper-class couples to the neighborhoods of Bellevue and Hermitage and more than doubled the district's Hispanic population in the last decade. The strongly Democratic urban core of minority residents, government employees, academics and unions, negates almost any chance that the district could fall into GOP hands. No Republican won Nashville's congressional seat during the 20th century, and Barack Obama took 60 percent of the Davidson County vote and 56 percent of the district's vote in the 2008 presidential race.

Major Industry

Music, health care, higher education, government, tourism

Cities

Nashville-Davidson (pt.), 574,761; Mount Juliet, 23,671

Notable

"The Hermitage" was the home of Andrew Jackson.

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