Out of power for years, Tennessee Democrats see some hope

FILE-In this March 26, 2014, file photo, Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, speaks during a meeting of the Senate Education Committee in Nashville, Tenn

FILE-In this March 26, 2014, file photo, Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, speaks during a meeting of the Senate Education Committee in Nashville, Tenn

In this Aug. 1, 2018 photo, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, center, campaigns in Memphis, Tenn., in his bid for U.S. Senate. Tennessee Democrats know somet

In this Aug. 1, 2018 photo, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, center, campaigns in Memphis, Tenn., in his bid for U.S. Senate. Tennessee Democrats know somet

FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2018, file photo, Democratic former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean speaks during a gubernatorial debate in Nashville, Tenn. Tenness

FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2018, file photo, Democratic former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean speaks during a gubernatorial debate in Nashville, Tenn. Tenness

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Democrats know something about disappointment. The last time voters chose a governor, the party pinned its hopes on a longshot punchline named Charlie Brown. He was trounced by 30 percentage points.

Two years before that, Democrats lost a Senate race in a blowout. Republican Sen. Bob Corker beat Mark Clayton, who was disavowed by state Democratic leaders for anti-gay views.

This year might be different for Tennessee Democrats. There are no incumbents for Senate and governor. The party has put up candidates in legislative races where it hasn't competed in years.

Democrats see opportunities in the suburbs, where President Trump gets a cooler reception, specifically among women, despite polling well statewide.

But on a larger scale, Tennessee doesn't look ripe for a blue wave to completely upend Republican rule.