Bryant Has Been Plenty Successful On The Coast In The Past
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:
Pearl River- 70%
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.