DuPree Expanded Playing Field From Aug. 2
As Johnny DuPree rode to victory over Bill Luckett last night, he did it with a coalition of counties that included areas around his home base of Hattiesburg, majority-black counties (with Hinds playing a very big role), and the larger suburban counties which tend to vote Republican in primaries but have a good number of Democrats left over.
Below are county maps from last night, along with results from three weeks ago for comparison when there were four candidates in the race.
One of the first things you notice is that DuPree made a strong dent in Luckett’s base around Clarksdale in the northern Delta. Luckett still won Coahoma and Quitman but his buffer was reduced losing Tunica, Tallahatchie, Sunflower, Bolivar, Washington, and Issaquena- counties that he carried three weeks ago. DuPree also crept up into Northwest Mississippi winning not only Tunica, but Desoto and Marshall as well.
There was little change in Northeast Mississippi which again went for Luckett, but a couple east-central counties did flip toward DuPree (Montgomery, Oktibbeha, and Clay). Luckett was able to pick up a handful of counties in Southeast and Southwest Mississippi including Perry, George, Greene, Amite, and Lawrence. Before affidavits and absentees have been counted, the two actually tied in Stone county giving us the yellow county on the board.
And in counties that DuPree won, he was able to rack up big victories in a number of cases. He was at 80 percent or higher in Claiborne, Forrest, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Jefferson, Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale, Madison, Pearl River, Rankin, Simpson, and Warren. Several of those counties provide a ton of votes. In Hinds, DuPree picked up 17,394 votes, or 10 percent of his total statewide.
Luckett only hit 80 in Itawamba, and won Coahoma with 69 percent- a nice number but certainly needed to do better in his home county.
What does this say going forward? DuPree was strongest in the traditional Democratic counties so those voters are already there for him. Winning Rankin, Madison, Desoto, Harrison, etc. was nice for the primary, but they will certainly give strong majorities to Phil Bryant. If a Democrat is going to win, he is going to need to capture Northeast Mississippi votes, something DuPree has not done outside of Lee (again, DuPree was strong in the traditional GOP suburban counties so winning Lee made sense).
In addition to Itawamba that we mentioned was very strong for Luckett, DuPree finished below 40 in these northeastern counties: Benton, Calhoun, Choctaw, Lafayette, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tippah, Tishomingo, and Webster. Anyway you draw up a general election map (if Jim Hood isn’t the candidate), it is very difficult to find a formula for 50 percent plus one for a Democrat these days. If winning the northeastern region is still the best strategy to accomplish that goal, DuPree has a way to go.