Last Word On Tuesday’s Elections
I did want to give a shout out to the two lesser covered races from yesterday in Mississippi. In MS-02, Bennie Thompson won another term by defeating Bill Marcy 62-38. In MS-03, Gregg Harper defeated 2008 Democratic nominee Joel Gill 68-31. Neither one of those endings were surprising and there races were called early in the evening.
In the Third, Harper missed what I consider a symbolic 70 percent but obviously his total- the highest in the state- is nothing to be too sad about. This is obviously a Republican district, but Harper has fit in well and looks to have this seat as long as he’d like. I’m sure he is happy to have two new Republican colleagues from Mississippi join him in the House.
In the Second, Thompson won another term but because his party lost the House he will have to give up his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee. And with Gene Taylor’s loss, he becomes the senior member of the delegation. Harper, soon to be a sophomore in the House, becomes number two on that list.
Some thought Marcy could hold Thompson down. I wondered if he would hold Thompson to 2002 type numbers when Clinton B. LeSueur lost by about 10 points. That obviously didn’t happen. Two points: 1) A Republican is never going to win here in case you didn’t already figure that out. Not saying we shouldn’t run somebody, just that it’s a lost cause. 2) To have a strong showing like LeSueur you need to have roots in the community and make inroads to the black vote. An endorsement from Sarah Palin won’t do that.
What do NRLC, NRA and CofC do next?
Speaking of endorsements, three generally Republican groups decided to back two incumbent Democrats in Mississippi who had been friendly to their causes. Known as their incumbent-friendly rule, they put time and resources into propping up these Democrats who were running against Republicans who held similar positions on matters of concern to the groups.
I am talking about the National Right to Life, National Rifle Association and Chamber of Commerce. In 2010, I imagine they will back Alan Nunnelee and Steven Palazzo and those two Republicans will gladly tout their endorsement. That is just the nature of the game. But many Republicans- who make up the bulk of these groups members- were not happy with their decisions, especially with the NRA.
I don’t see any payback coming, but the value of their endorsement has gone down to about nothing. Think about it: how much did the NRA help Travis Childers yesterday?
** For clarification, I am talking about the National Right to Life; not Mississippi Right to Life (who was not involved).
Mississippi Republican Party ready for 2011
Many commentators on television last night made the comment that Democrats have all but gone extinct in the South overnight. I read that Democrats lost at least one House seat from every state in the old Confederacy. Mississippi’s neighbor to the east, Alabama, elected a Republican House and Senate for the first time since Reconstruction.
If only the state elections were last night and not next year, but still, you have to like the GOP’s chances following yesterday’s results. I expect Jim Hood will win re-election unless a very credible and top-notch challenger emerges; other than that Democrats will likely go 0 for the other 7. An outright Republican majority in both houses does not look that far fetched from where we are sitting today. Of course, we still don’t know of retirements, recruitment efforts, and potential party-switchers which will likely decide the elections. We also don’t know of the mood of the electorate. It is clear voters angry with Obama took it out all the way down ballot last night, but that may not be the case in a year. That said, I feel confident in predicting voters opinions on Obama in Mississippi a year from now: they still won’t like him.
And for what it’s worth, I heard of campaign ads by Republicans running for everything from Secretary of State to state Representative mentioning Obama (and obviously not in a pleasant way). Nancy Pelosi will be gone and irrelevant, but expect to hear a lot more about Obama from GOP candidates over the next year.