Frist's Memphis district is largely Democratic, and there is question as to whether or not Ford could win statewide in a red state, even with his Blue Dog Democrat status. Republicans, however, have been using his words lately in their Social Security propaganda. Ford, following the State of the Union Address, stated "the Democrats are going to have to get a better message on Social Security... Our only response cannot be to say, ' No.' " Republicans continuing to use his words may actually enhance Ford's appeal to Republican and swing voters in the state.
Ford took public office in 1996, but vaulted onto the national scene when he delivered the Keynote Address during the 2000 Democratic Convention. While his Republican challengers for the 2006 Senate race are players on a statewide level, Ford will be fundraising on a national level and will have significant support from the DNC.
It remains to be seen if Ford can win this race, but the potential of a Democrat taking the Senate seat once again in Tennessee in exciting, to say the least.