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Bryant Has Been Plenty Successful On The Coast In The Past

April 1, 2010
tags: 2011 Governor, Dave Dennis, Phil Bryant
by Brett

In my story yesterday on Dave Dennis and the GOP primary vote, I looked at the influence that the Coast has on the primary. With most rural counties voting in the Democratic primary, we do get some overrepresentation from South Mississippi on the GOP side. For Dennis, a relative unknown but a Gulfport resident, he needs to capitalize on this.

Just to recap, the six Southern-most counties make up about 23 percent of the GOP primary vote. So there is an opening, but Phil Bryant is not exactly an unknown on the Coast.

To get a gauge of Bryant’s success on the Coast, I have gathered some information from his 2007 primary battle with Charlie Ross- a state Senator from Rankin county. Bryant won the primary by a fairly large 57-43 margin overall.

In the three Coast counties, Bryant’s best showing was in Jackson county where he won around 61 percent with more than 15,000 votes cast. In Hancock county (the smallest of the three), he won 55 percent of the more than 2,500 votes cast putting it much in line with his overall vote. He had his worst showing in Harrison county, winning just 46 percent of the more than 16,000 votes cast.

In Pearl River county, Bryant had an even stronger showing with 64 percent of the vote with more than 9,000 votes cast. Bryant also outperformed his statewide vote in Stone and George counties but there actual number of votes is pretty insignificant.

Obviously Bryant was not facing off against a Coast native in the 2007 Republican primary, but he did fairly well for himself save for Harrison county. So while we know that these six counties make a strong base and starting block for Dennis there is not a lot of reason to assume they dislike Bryant.

There are variables I can’t really gauge at this point such as whether or not voters in South Mississippi will be inclined to vote for Dennis because he is a Gulfport resident, but the Coast has been welcoming to Bryant in the past.

In the 2007 general election, here is Bryant’s percentage in those six counties:

George- 63%
Hancock- 64%
Harrison- 66%
Jackson- 69%
Pearl River- 70%
Stone- 63%

Note: This is the second of a three-part series where we look at Dave Dennis, Phil Bryant, and the GOP primary. Yesterday, I looked at Dave Dennis and the influence that South Mississippi has on the GOP primary, and tomorrow I’ll wrap it up Friday with a look at the counties (outside of the Coast) that will decide the election.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Clayton permalink
    April 1, 2010 10:16 am

    As both Phil Bryant and Charlie Ross were from Rankin County, another way to say this is 100% of Coast Republicans voted for someone from Rankin County, and 100% of DeSoto Republicans voted for someone from Rankin County. I don’t think any geographic inference from 2007 can be applied to 2011 considering the different dynamics.

  2. mspolitics82 permalink
    April 1, 2010 11:39 am

    Bryant’s worst showing on the coast in Harrison County had much to do with his historically firm opinions that aren’t as favorable to gaming as some of the coastal business people would like it to be. While he said he would not suggest that the gaming industry be “run off” (and I am paraphrasing what I remember from back then), it wasn’t something that he really wanted to see coming ashore and spreading to other parts of the state. Some of those business guys that I know down in Harrison County are VERY sensitive when anyone talks about their personal beliefs against gambling–almost to the point where they take it personally. Jackson County, on the other hand does not have gaming, hence, Bryant’s higher vote tally.

  3. Matt permalink
    June 3, 2010 9:37 pm

    To continue with the invalid comparison to 2007 because of two Rankin County candidates, we also have to remember that Bryant’s opponent, Ross flip-flopped on his support of gaming depending on his location in the state. You also have to recognize that in statewide politics, especially in Mississippi, party matters a little less and Dennis will be able to attract many more to the primary polls on the coast than in 2007, making the Coast a larger portion of the vote and making Dennis more likely to have a larger lead in those counties.

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