Cohen, Blackburn, Alexander Win Big 

In the true spirit of "The Purloined Letter," the Poe story in which vital evidence was overlooked because it was right before the eye, the runaway wins of three congressional incumbents may have escaped proper notice.

Hence an overdue statement of the obvious. 9th District congressman Steve Cohen won big, so did 7th District congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, and so did U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander.

Although the Election Commission, all these hours after the polls closed, seems still to be having difficulty making numbers accessible, these are the relevant percentages:

Democrat Cohen demolished three opponents with nearly 88 percent of the vote; his closest runnerup among three self-styled "independents" was Jake Ford with 5 percent of the vote, eking out Dewey Clark and Mary Taylor Shelby Wright with 4 percent each.

Republican Blackburn overwhelmed her Democratic opponent, Randy Morris, by 71 percent to 29 percent, and Republican Alexander beat his Democratic challenger, Robert Tuke, 65 percent to 31 percent statewide. Alexander won all but one of Tennessee's 95 counties, losing only Haywood County to Tuke though his margin of victory in Shelby County was narrow, only 50.75 percent to 46.67 percent.

A fourth incumbent, 8th District congressman John Tanner, a Democrat, was unopposed.

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