Let’s test my political know-how by offering up a few predictions for the upcoming primary…

There are several factors that can cause a race to go in a direction that no one suspects. The two major ones are, voter turnout (who actually shows up) and the difference between what voters say they are going to do and what they actually do in that booth (poll answers vs. what button they push). Given these variables, there is simply no way to know who is going to come out on top this Thursday, but I’m willing to make a few guesses.

Bryson. Is there even anyone else running?

No doubt on this one – it’s going to come down to Bryant and Corker. The deciding factor is going to be voter turnout. No self-respecting conservative is going to vote for Bob Corker, and Bryant clearly has the conservative base in the bag. The question is…who’s going to show up?
Despite the fact that Corker is listed as the “frontrunner,” a number of his supporters are young and, let’s face it, young people don’t vote in the same numbers as older people. Older people – especially older people who are active in the Republican Party – are Bryant supporters, and this is certainly in his favor.
So, I guess we shall see.

US House of Representatives, First District
I’m calling this race for David Davis, although I think Venable, Roe, and – surprisingly – Roberts will give him a run for his money.
Venable has a lot of friends, but he also has a lot of enemies. Not to mention the recent mailer that has gone out highlighting the fact that, while running on a “lowering gas prices” platform, Venable voted to raise gas taxes several times while serving in the State House. Roe does not have support from the Republican base, as many of us fear he will be another Frist or Alexander (i.e., Republican in name only). Roberts will get several votes simply because we are in a Bush-loving part of the country and his “I support the president” platform resonates with these folk. Bush, however, is polarizing, and I don’t think Roberts can get the support he would need to pull out a win.

State House, Sixth District
This race will come down to Patti Jarrett and Dale Ford. Although Ethan Flynn has a number of young fans (and plenty of enemies, too), again, young people just don’t vote in the same numbers as older people. This is where Ford has the advantage.
My mother, for example, had never heard of any of the other candidates in this race (until I introduced her to Patti!), but she knows just who Dale Ford is. Many, many people remember Ford’s umpiring days, and will vote on name recognition alone (as sad as that makes me.)
Patti, on the other hand, has the support of the Republican base, which could work to her advantage.

District Attorney General
It may end up being closer than I suspect, but I’m calling this race for Joe Crumley. Experience and name recognition will play a role. Those who aren’t involved in local politics still know the name “Joe Crumley,” and will vote accordingly. In addition, most people know that we are in the middle of several high-profile trials and most of us aren’t fans of “switching horses mid-stream.”

Washington County Sheriff
Ed Graybeal, Ed Graybeal, Ed Graybeal.
He won with, what, 80% of the vote last time? I’m calling 85% this time around. People love Ed, and his recent drug busts are a huge political asset. I have no doubt he’s going to win this in a landslide.