Wednesday | August 20, 2003
Mississippi primary roundup
From the increasingly relevant Political State Report, our Mississippi correspondent chimes in with analysis from that state's primary election.
Musgrove had no active opposition, while a candidate with ties to Democrats attempted to bloody up Barbour. Neither candidate had to break stride to win the nomination. While the candidates' percentages in the primary are simimlar (77% Musgrove, 83% Barbour) Musgrove received well over twice as many votes as Barbour (386,000 for Musgrove, 146,000 for Barbour). GOP partisans blame the much higher Democratic participation on the contested Democratic Lieutenant Governor primary and competitive local races in ancestrally Democratic areas. This explanation is certainly valid and accounts for much of the discrepancy between the primaries. However, GOP predictions of a wave of Barbourmania leading a partisan realignment do not seem to taking shape.While one of Barbour's appeals was his supposed fundraising prowess (built upon his tenure as head of the RNC), Gov. Musgrove is maintaining solid parity, slightly edging Barbour $5.4 million to $5.3 million. And, Musgrove has more than twice as much cash as Barbour -- $4.1 million to $2 million.
Which all goes to say that while this will be a close race, Musgrove is not only competitive, but actually has the edge. Barbour may very well not be the savior the MS GOP was praying for.
Also exciting in MS is the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor, who has a chance of becoming the first state-wide elected African American in Mississippi history.
While the Attorney General's office (the new stepping stone to the governor's office and senate) features the state's most popular Democrat.
While MS is obviously out of reach to Dems in national elections, a strong stable of local Dems bodes well for the future. I still consider Kentucky the most interesting race this cycle (given the anti-Bush tactics in a red state), but a clean sweep of governorships this November would provide Democrats a much-welcomed boost heading into the 2004 election cycle.
As for now in the governors' races:
Kentucky: Open seat vacated by scandal-plagued Democratic governor. Toss-up with (very) slight lean to GOP.
Louisiana: Open seat vacated by popular GOP governor. Likely Dem pickup.
Mississippi: Incumbent Dem, facing popular former head of RNC. Toss-up with (very) slight lean to Dem.
Latest polls are on the right margin, except for Mississippi which has had no polling conducted in over a year.Posted August 20, 2003 07:55 AM | Comments (24)