Curiously, the GOP-controlled seat that gave Trump his smallest margin was the one which hasn’t elected a Democrat since 1852, earlier than the Republican Social gathering was even based, although it was nonetheless removed from shut: Rep. Tim Burchett’s 2nd District round Knoxville supported Trump 64-34, which was only a tick down from his 65-30 efficiency in opposition to Hillary Clinton.
On the coronary heart of the 2nd District is Knox County, which has in truth been represented a member of the nativist Know Nothing Social gathering extra just lately than a Democrat, with William Henry Sneed taking it throughout President Franklin Pierce’s 1854 midterm. Sneed was changed two years later fellow Know Nothing Horace Maynard, who, like many anti-secession politicians within the years earlier than and in the course of the Civil Conflict, recognized with a variety of totally different political labels.
Sneed’s East Tennessee base remained loyal to the Union in the course of the battle, although he quickly left Congress in 1863 when he was appointed state legal professional normal navy governor Andrew Johnson. Sneed returned in 1866 when Tennessee was readmitted to the Union after Johnson was elevated to the presidency after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, this time as a full-fledged member of the Republican Social gathering.
After the federal authorities deserted Reconstruction, nonetheless, Republicans all through the South shortly discovered themselves with little affect. Knox County, although, remained a sturdy exception: The GOP continued to characterize the world in Congress throughout the whole period of Democratic dominance referred to as the “Stable South,” and it remained in energy as the remainder of Tennessee and neighboring states started their broader migration towards the Republican Social gathering within the wake of Richard Nixon’s “Southern technique.”
Democrats held on in Tennessee longer than in different corners of the South, however these days are lengthy gone. Republicans gained management of the redistricting in 2010 for the primary time since Reconstruction, they usually’ll as soon as once more determine the brand new congressional map.