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Marsha Blackburn Wins Senate Race in Tennessee

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R, Tenn.) speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 21, 2016. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Republican Representative Marsha Blackburn won her bid for Senate in Tennessee Tuesday night, beating Democrat Phil Bredesen in a surprisingly competitive race.

With 64 percent of precincts reporting, Blackburn had 59 percent of the vote, compared to the 40 percent of Bredesen, a former governor of Tennessee from 2003 to 2011.

Blackburn, an eight-term House member, takes over the seat of two-term Republican Senator Bob Corker, who decided to retire last fall after an ugly falling out with President Trump.

The midterms are widely regarded as a moment of truth on whether voters are satisfied with Trump’s performance as president and his administration’s agenda, which Blackburn loudly supported during her campaign.

Blackburn received an unexpected broadside from pop star Taylor Swift when the singer made an unprecedented foray into politics last month, announcing that she would vote for Bredesen and saying Blackburn’s voting record “appalls and terrifies me.”

Tennessee, a state Trump won by 26 points in 2016, has not had a Democratic senator since 1994.

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