Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee Democrats are looking at Thursday's primary as a critical step in the rebuilding that an internal analysis called for last year.

Since 2006, Democrats have lost 19 seats in the House and three seats in the Senate, placing them firmly in the minority of the two chambers. Another nine Democratic incumbents announced earlier this year they weren't running again.

Meanwhile, newly redrawn districts by Republicans are pitting several incumbent Democrats against each other in the primary this week.

Nevertheless, Democratic leaders say they're optimistic about the 47 candidates - challengers and incumbents - in races.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner believes his party can win at least six races.

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