The Playbook For Tuesday Night
As we approach the final weekend before Election Day, and whether you are a frequent visitor or new to this site wanting to get some info, here are the basics on what to look out for in the lead up to Tuesday.
Statewide races: Currently Republicans hold seven of the eight statewide offices with Jim Hood, the attorney general, remaining as the last Democrat elected statewide. While we will have several new office holders, I don’t expect the party to change in any office.
There are also six regional offices on the ballot. This includes the northern, central, and southern district races for public service commissioner and transportation commissioner. Currently, Republicans have a 2-1 advantage on both commissions. The one where I would expect a Republican pickup is the southern district transportation commissioner’s race. I’ll also be paying attention to that race in the central district as well as the northern district PSC election.
View the statewide candidates here.
State Senate: Despite the possibility of a Democratic takeover here little has been said about this chamber. That is because Tate Reeves will be elected lieutenant governor and control the chamber so Republicans should have a working majority regardless. Remember, Democrats had a 28-24 numerical advantage after Phil Bryant was elected.
Right now Republicans have a 27-24 (one vacancy) advantage. While several seats may change, at the end of the day I don’t see either party netting more than 2 seats.
Democratic held seats to follow: SD 4, SD 8 (regular plus special election to fill vacancy), SD 37, SD 43, SD 46, and SD 48.
Republican held seats to watch: SD 10, SD 14, SD 18, SD 22, and SD 39.
State House: This is what we’re really paying attention to. Currently Democrats have a 68-54 advantage (was 75-47 following the last election). Republicans need eight seats to get to the magic number of 62 needed for a majority. Can they do it? I can see Republicans picking up anywhere from 3 to 9 seats so that is basically me ducking the issue. These races are small, local, and we just can’t always get a feel on how they will turn out until the voters head to the polls. I expect to see a couple surprises.
One point of caution though, if the GOP does pick up some seats but falls short of 62, the selection of Speaker of the House will not be settled. In fact, the fun will just be beginning.
Democratic held seats we are following: HD 2 (open), HD 3 (open), HD 4 (open), HD 10 (open), HD 13 (open), HD 19, HD 20, HD 21, HD 25, HD 28 (open), HD 45, HD 79, HD 86, HD 91, HD 93, HD 105 (open), HD 107 (open), HD 111, HD 115, HD 121, and HD 122 (open).
And these seats held by Republicans: HD 1, HD 24, HD 43, HD 64, HD 73, and HD 83.
Here were ratings of all 122 districts that I released on September 29. Haven’t made any changes to it since, but use it to get a lay of the land.
Ballot initiatives: There are three initiatives that voters will decide upon as well, with many thinking this will drive turnout. And in most cases, there certainly appears to be more interest there than with the statewide races.
To see the language that will appear on the ballot for each of the initiatives, click here.
Two of the initiatives have a base of opposition, including the governor on eminent domain, but nothing has formalized. At the end of the day, voter ID and eminent domain will easily pass. The third initiative, the Personhood amendment, has seen the strongest and most formalized opposition. Because of this I don’t think it will pass as easily as a traditional pro-life initiative or at the level I thought it once would, but believe it will get the OK from voters.
Grades, endorsements, recommendations: Below is information released on legislative (and some statewide) candidates from various groups.