Any Impact on MS-01?

2009 November 4
tags: 2010 House, Alan Nunnelee, MS-01, Travis Childers
by Brett

I spent considerable amount of time thinking about what last night’s election may mean for 2010- specifically the race in Mississippi’s First District. While it is difficult to make any comparisons between states, Southwestern Virginia is home to many largely white, rural districts similar to MS-01. Here is a map to see who they supported last night (hint: it wasn’t Creigh Deeds).

Shortly after the race, GOP Whip Eric Cantor made this statement: “This is a shot across the bow to the moderates and Blue Dog Democrats as they decide votes on health care (and other issues).”

I could see that being true, and I imagine some Blue Dogs in competitive districts may sense the turning tide. The moderates and Independents who liked Obama in 2008 are now looking elsewhere.

That said, MS-01 never really liked Obama. And Travis Childers never really used him in his election(s). When Childers won, many used that as an endorsement of the Democrats and a rejection of the Republicans. That was not the case. It was an endorsement of regional issues and a rejection of Desoto county.

And for that reason, it’s hard to say that last night can tell us much about 2010 in the First District. What we knew before has not changed: the voters are conservative, they have a history of supporting local Democrats and national Republicans, and want someone who can appeal to them.

The one thing I would be nervous about if I was Childers is turnout. Black voters made up about 20 percent of the Virginia electorate in 2008 with Obama on the top of the ballot. That was down to around 15 percent this time around without Obama. It is no secret that Childers benefited from that turnout a year ago. And signs indicate it will not be there for him in 2010.

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