The Cook Political Report, one of the most highly regarded independent political prognosticators, has upgraded the race for Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican.”
In the last two weeks, the race has leapt two spots in the Cook analysis, from “Solid Republican” to “Likely Republican” on Oct. 18 and in the Nov. 1 analysis, from “Likely Republican to Lean Republican.” It is now just one move away from being considered a toss-up by the Cook Report.
“This is further proof that there’s incredible momentum behind Eric Stewart’s campaign,” said Katie Hill, Stewart’s communications director.
Cook analyst Dave Wasserman cited “bombshell revelations about DesJarlais’s affairs with patients” that “have engulfed local news coverage,” as well as “new allegations and renouncements of GOP support breaking every day.”
Following revelations that he had sex with multiple patients -- prescribing prescription drugs to one on dates and pressuring another to get an abortion – DesJarlais has been condemned by the Tennessee medical community.
Vanderbilt University Professor of Medicine Dr. Larry Churchill recently weighed in on DesJarlais' conduct, saying that "every doctor knows the rules and every patient should be able to expect their physician won't abuse that trust." Churchill also holds the title of the Ann Geddes Stahlman Chair in Medical Ethics.
The Tennessee Conservative Union announced it was considering a call for DesJarlais to resign after news broke about the first mistress and patient who DesJarlais phoned to discuss abortion. An official call for DesJarlais to resign was issued by the Tennessee Conservative Union within days of a second mistress and patient of DesJarlais’ coming forward. Chairman Lloyd Daugherty said DesJarlais' actions reach a "level of hypocrisy that is simply untenable."
A complaint against Congressman DesJarlais has also been filed with the Tennessee Department of Health.