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Harold Ford Jr. Gaining in Tennessee

Recent poll numbers suggest that Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee may succeed in his campaign to become the first black U.S. senator from the former Confederacy since the Reconstruction period.

Ford Jr. currently trails Republican opponent Bob Corker 48% to 42%, an improvement over the 12-point deficit he had before winning his Democratic primary last month.

Ford Jr., an African-American, needs support from the 80% of Tennessee’s electorate that is white in order to win. But as we reported in our pages, he still has not endorsed Steve Cohen, the Democratic nominee for his majority-minority 9th district congressional seat, in the general election. Ford Jr.’s brother, Jake Ford, is running as an independent in that race.

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