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Tennessee - 7th District

Incumbent -- Marsha Blackburn (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

A tailor-made, meandering district, the 7th touches five other Tennessee districts and borders Kentucky to the north and Mississippi and Alabama to the south. Its population centers fall near Memphis in the southwest and near Nashville in the east. The district has experienced the state's fastest population growth since 2000.

More than 30 percent of district residents live in Shelby County suburbs outside Memphis, giving the 7th a strongly anti-tax and socially conservative bent despite a Democratic past. Middle-class residents have migrated from downtown Memphis (in the 9th) to the outskirts of the county, a trend that helps explain the 7th's GOP shift.

Williamson County, outside Nashville, mirrors Shelby in its growth and Republican leanings. In 2010, Nissan opened its regional headquarters in Franklin, near what has been the company's primary North American manufacturing plant in Smyrna (in the 6th). Nissan plans to expand production of its electric vehicles at its plants in the area.

The bulk of the area between Shelby and Williamson sweeps over vast farming regions that produce corn, cotton and hogs. Northwest of Williamson, the district ambles northward along the Cumberland River to take in most of Clarksville. The Clarksville area has benefited from diverse manufacturing, a robust education sector around Austin Peay State University (nearby in the 8th) and expansions at Fort Campbell -- which straddles the Tennessee-Kentucky line. John McCain won the district by 31 percentage points in the 2008 presidential election.

Major Industry

Agriculture, manufacturing

Military Bases

Fort Campbell, 30,438 military, 8,058 civilian (2011) (shared with Kentucky's 1st District)

Cities

Clarksville (pt.), 111,764; Bartlett (pt.), 54,493; Memphis (pt.), 51,153; Franklin (pt.), 48,549; Brentwood, 37,060; Germantown (pt.), 35,494

Notable

Shiloh National Military Park memorializes the soldiers who died in one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

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