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The Current State Of The GOP Primary In MS-01

May 5, 2010
tags: 2010 House, Alan Nunnelee, Angela McGlowan, Henry Ross, MS-01
by Brett

Yesterday I provided some commentary on the GOP primary in MS-04 and today I will look at MS-01. And while I didn’t want to make any predictions yesterday, I’ll do so today. I gave pretty good indication at where I am going in my posts earlier today, but I will go a little more in depth right now.

Where do I start? I guess the easiest thing to do first is to write a little bit about the candidates and the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Alan Nunnelee

The moment Greg Davis lost the special election to Travis Childers in the spring of 2008, I imagine many Republican party faithful, strategist, and leaders went looking for a candidate who could defeat Childers and circled Nunnelee as their man. Nunnelee would go on to enter the race this past summer and was heralded as a top recruit by the NRCC. He has worked his way up the Young Guns ladder and now sits in the second tier. Nunnelee was recruited for good reason: he is from the right part of the district (Tupelo rather than Desoto county), has a relatively high profile from his time in the state Senate, and has the establishment ties needed to raise money.

But over the past year, something interesting has happened in the country- the mood has soured on politicians to the point that the NRCC gave pretty strong indication that they prefer recruits without the extensive political background. That said, Nunnelee- like Steven Palazzo in the Fourth- has the business background in addition to their legislative careers (obviously being a state legislature in Mississippi is not a full-time job). And in some cases, we have seen a rejection of the establishment choices. I’ve mentioned Charlie Crist many times and another is Trey Grayson in Kentucky. He was the establishment backed candidate in the open Senate seat in the Bluegrass state. He will more than likely lose to Rand Paul, a Tea Party favorite, in the GOP primary in a couple weeks. But, as I mentioned earlier today, that sentiment did not play out in Indiana. Will it play out in Mississippi?

Henry Ross

Ross has been publicly interested in running since last summer and officially entered in February. When talking with people about Ross, I haven’t heard anyone say too much negative. He is good on the issues, can give a good speech, etc. That said, he is the least known of the three candidates and has had the most difficult time getting his name out there. He made a nice personal donation to his campaign, but simply hasn’t raised enough money to spread his message.

He is what I would the anti-Nunnelee lite candidate. Ross has talked about career politicians, has pledged term-limits, been a frequent speaker at Tea Parties, but never really attacked Nunnelee head on. I honestly don’t think he needs to go that route (it hasn’t helped Angela McGlowan). But without the money or strong grassroots support, Ross just has not gained traction to this point.

Angela McGlowan

By far one of the weirder campaigns I remember, McGlowan is a good study in why any press (negative included) is not always good press. McGlowan has by far the most name recognition of the three on a national level. If this election was being decided by the people in attendance at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville or the Tea Party Express rally in Searchlight, Nevada- McGlowan would be your winner hands down. She has been in national stories spotlighting blacks in the Tea Party movement, had her picture on Drudge, and has made several appearances on her old network (Fox New) during the campaign. Looking at my blog search engine term stats, her name has been searched for five times more than Nunnelee’s. Unfortunately for her again, a good chunk of that is from national attention. And this just has not translated in the First District.

Looking back, the McGlowan campaign once had promise. With the national appeal, she had the opportunity to turn that into fundraising- which she has not done. There is no other word but disappointing to describe her Q1 fundraising. But that was not her biggest undoing. As soon as she announced her candidacy, the old audio from her Gallo comments that she made last summer on gun registration re-emerged. Rather than focusing on the campaign she wanted to run, she went in defense and attack mode. She quickly sent out an email blasting Nunnelee for being behind this. Anytime you start a campaign- especially a primary- by attacking an opponent you are in trouble. Bottom line: she has not built a positive message to give reason to vote for her.


Nunnelee is in very good position to win without a runoff at this point. If Nunnelee was to be held under 50 percent, his general election campaign would be in a lot of trouble. Nunnelee has acted like a front-runner, stayed above the fray, and made the necessary steps to win. The Republican sources I spoke with all predicted a Nunnelee win without a runoff, while one predicted 60 percent. I would say that would be a strong showing for his campaign going forward.

40 Comments leave one →
  1. Alan @ YallPolitics permalink
    May 5, 2010 5:04 pm

    Dead on. All of it.

  2. tom permalink
    May 5, 2010 5:19 pm

    Nice Job! Your Assessment is correct and in my opinion the reason we should all get behind Nunnelee and make sure he comes out of the Primary strong. If our objective is to defeat Childers/Pelosi then its time to support the candidate who has been strong from day one, who is right on the issues and who can win in November. Angela and Henry have had their chance to make their case with the voters and they have not been successful. If we want to win in November we must unite behind the candidate who has the best chance to win.

  3. Hershel Yerber permalink
    May 5, 2010 6:12 pm

    Alan Nunnellee! All the way!

  4. Tea Party Leader II permalink
    May 5, 2010 7:04 pm

    Would you like to put some money on that prediction Brett. I think there may be a surprise coming.

    • May 5, 2010 7:57 pm

      Sure. What are your predictions?

      And keep in mind these are predictions about what you think will happen- not what you necessarily want to happen.

  5. Tea Party Leader II permalink
    May 5, 2010 9:34 pm

    What I think will happen will be that Nunnelee will win the primary but will be kept under 50%. Ross will take about 38% of the vote, and McGlowan will pull in last. In the run off, the McGlowan voters will switch to Ross and he will beat Nunnelee in a close race.

    • Yankee Clipper permalink
      May 6, 2010 1:07 am

      Leader II,

      Your scenario is not out of the question is it? Assuming you are correct about Angela, which of the other two has the best chance of beating Childers. I personally like all three, but I am not sure if any of them has a shot at beating Childers in the general election.

      If your scenario plays out, can Ross beat Childers? I am not too sure he can. Nunlee appears to have the edge in name recogntion and a larger warchestm but will that bring success in the general election? Childers is rapidly becoming a conservative for this election cycle and is saying a lot of things that will appeal to uninformed conservatives. It’s going to be very hard to defeat him I think.

    • Grizz permalink
      May 6, 2010 11:19 am

      this assessment seems pretty acurate–angela,who could have actualy brought in SOME black votes and enlightened folks,has only hurt herself w/her foot in mouth desease– childers WILL be hard to beat–folks need to be reminded he took our tax dollars and fled on vacation to Israel instead of holding a town hall last fall–it will take ALL electors to rally behind the primary winner,plus drawing in other voters from other conservative candidates–to retire travis so he can have plenty of time to visit Israel again-on his OWN dime

      • Tea Party Leader II permalink
        May 6, 2010 11:32 am

        Right on Grizz. Let’s keep reminding them.

  6. Yankee Clipper permalink
    May 6, 2010 1:13 am

    Has anyone else in Dist. 1 noticed that Dist 4 seems to be more involved in their primary election than we are. Dist. 4 participation on this site overwhelms Dist. 1. This is another reason I don’t think we will remove Childers from office. No passion up here!

    • Tea Party Leader II permalink
      May 6, 2010 10:24 am

      I think there is passion up here. There are some folks on this site that want to get real nasty and personal rather than discussing issues and theories. I have not been on here much myself lately because of it. Doesn’t mean I am not passionate about this election, just means I don’t want to get into the nastiness that goes on sometimes.

      • Mississippi Elitist permalink
        May 6, 2010 11:18 am

        I think that the people of Dist 1′s passion is what has made us get so nasty at times.
        Sure I come off seeming nasty some times but I am honestly not that bad of a guy. I just get really fed up with people who try to pull the wool over other peoples eyes in favor of there candidate by making unconfirmable claims and deceptive innuendos about the candidates that they do not support. Much like YC said in another post if someone practices such things then there remarks are open to attack with similar tactics.

        • Mississippi Elitist permalink
          May 6, 2010 11:20 am

          TPLII sorry I did not mean to attach that comment to yours. I meant to attach it to the blog as a whole.

          • Tea Party Leader II permalink
            May 6, 2010 11:29 am

            No problem ME – you and I agree on many things.

  7. Tea Party Leader II permalink
    May 6, 2010 9:29 am

    Yankee Clipper,

    I honestly believe either of the two, Nunnelee or Ross could beat Childers. In spite of the fact or because of the fact that Childers is the incumbent, many people are not going to vote for someone who represents the current DC administration. He voted to keep Nany Pelosi in her powerful position and we are looking at higher taxes, a health care bill no one wants, and a Democratic Congressional Candidate who won’t even meet with his constituents. Either of the two Republican candidates will have a united army of both the grassroots activists and the old school establishment behind them. Remember the Tea Party members are 43% Democrats (last numbers I saw) and they are still screaming “Flip this house”. That takes a large amount of votes from Childers right there. To say that Ross or Nunnelee can’t beat Childers sounds to me like you are grasping at straws. Maybe you are hoping for that; but my experience says you will be disappointed. If Childers is so conservative then why does he dance to the Pelosi music like a puppet and why isn’t he a Republican?

    • Yankee Clipper permalink
      May 6, 2010 6:02 pm

      Leader II,

      I was just throwing out other ways this thing can go. I for one want to see Childers go. At this point we are all guessing and yours is as good as mine, maybe better. We’ll see.

      If you recall I said turn out was going to be the key as to whether or not we turn Childers out and elect a conservative to replace him. I still believe that to be true. If we get the turn out we win, if not we lose.

      I sometimes like to play the “devil’s advocate” to see if anyone catches on. I also don’t mind spirited debate but try not to get personal, but sometimes do. It really dosesn’t bother me when I recieve personal attacks, I can take care of myself on most issues. For whoever mentioned they didn’t like the vitriolic and seemingly vicious personal attacks here, the guilty party does that to run you off. Don’t let them win.

      • Tea Party Leader II permalink
        May 8, 2010 4:21 pm

        Thanks YC. I think this was a good discussion too. Either way – Ross or Nunnelee over Childers – we all win.

    • Mississippi Elitist permalink
      May 6, 2010 6:21 pm

      TPLII I notice how you say “Either of the two Republican candidates” I just hope others see this race that way as well!
      I think Travis will be hurt by the lack of Obama voters in the general this cycle. Another reason why we need Nunnelee or Ross running agianst T is because I don’t think Dist 1 would stand a chance of ousting him in ’12.

      • Tea Party Leader II permalink
        May 8, 2010 4:21 pm

        ME – Again – we agree.

  8. Tea Party Leader II permalink
    May 6, 2010 9:44 am

    One more thing I want to say. It seems to be a strategy of the Nunnelee supporters to say that Ross cannot beat Childers. I guess they think that will cause people to vote for Nunnelee. This is a very dangerous strategy for anyone who wants to see Childers out of office. You are simply giving ammunition to the opposition. If Nunnelee supporters are so desperate to get votes they need to find a new method because they are hurting themselves and the Republican Party. Reality says either candidate can beat Childers and my statement above is only one of many that can be made to support this.

    • tom permalink
      May 6, 2010 9:58 am

      What makes you think Ross can win a congressional race when he hasn’t been able to win local races? He has run just as many times as Nunnelee but has only won 1 of the 4 races he has run.

  9. Tea Party Leader II permalink
    May 6, 2010 10:12 am

    Ross has gained much experience in running those races and is receiving very good advice in this race. He is dead on in his ideas and I am more than impressed with his campaigning style. Nunnelee has a big war chest as Clipper said and he is using that for TV etc. Because of the lack of funds that Ross has compared to Nunnelee he is literally going door to door. People love that about a candidate when he shows up to shake their hands and listen to their concerns. He also has the ear of the grassroots organizations. He is not a career politician (which is one of their big issues) and he is saying the right things that he truly believes. Nunnelee is a good candidate too but his campaign style is more polished and people are looking for someone they can relate to and feel understands their problems. Ross has sold himself to me ( a skeptic) and he has my vote.

    • Tea Party Leader II permalink
      May 6, 2010 10:31 am

      Ross is a very persuasive person and does well in the debates. The more of those he does the more votes he is picking up. If we had more persuasive people in Congress, that Health Care Bill would still be under debate.

      • Grizz permalink
        May 6, 2010 12:17 pm

        whatever “bad” qualities henry MAY have,it appears he actualy reads up on political legislation nite instead of watching leno lol

    • tom permalink
      May 6, 2010 2:47 pm

      I love the career politician comment. Ross has run for office just as many times as Nunnelee. He just doesn’t win. I guess that makes him a career candidate!

      • Grizz permalink
        May 6, 2010 3:55 pm

        now that was funny.some think i hate nunnelee,not true–i like him so much i intend on eating at his free fish fry in Corinth–

      • Tea Party Leader II permalink
        May 6, 2010 3:57 pm

        Tom, sounds like you are from the Nunnelee camp. Your comments are the same they all use. Find a new song – that one is not working.

        • Mississippi Elitist permalink
          May 6, 2010 4:46 pm

          Tom that is so funny. I guess the fact that Ross looses all the time makes him the ideal Tea Party candidate. He is not a career politician. I find it interesting that the new blood idea that the Tea Party peddles is the same stuff the Obamanites peddled a while back.
          TPLII Ross fans are in the same boat as far as saying the same old thing and needing to get a new approach. Calling Nunnelee a career politician has not and still does not fit. I assume you know what a State Senator in Mississippi makes? I pay my hourly employees more than that because that is by no means enough money to make a career out of.

        • tom permalink
          May 6, 2010 5:40 pm

          TPL, I am for Nunnelee because Ross and McGlowan have not done anything to make me want to vote for them. McGlowan has done nothing but complain about people picking on her. Ross says he is a constitutionalist but he is promoting 6 constitutional amendments and now he wants the House to impeach Supreme Court Justices! What happened to the seperation of powers in the CONSTITUTION and if he is a constitutionalist, why does he want to make so many changes to that CONSTITUTION he is supposed to be supporting? This is just political rhetoric. He’s a lawyer and should know better.

          Ross wishes he could be a “career politician” but he just hasn’t been able to get the people in his community to vote for him. losing 3 races is not a good record.

          Nunnelee is the only one who has done what he says he will do and who has the ability to beat Childers.

          Yes. I’m for Nunnelee!

          • Mississippi Elitist permalink
            May 6, 2010 6:05 pm

            Tom another point is that Nunnelee is the only candidate with any experience in balancing a multimillion dollar budget.
            Wait according to some “partiers” that experience is a bad thing.

          • Tea Party Leader II permalink
            May 6, 2010 7:07 pm

            I am not so sure – didn’t want to do this – but Nunnelee signed a not tax pact and not only voted for but pushed new taxes. That is not doing what he said he would.

            Tom – running for office and loosing is not a bad thing – watching your town be run by insiders who are taking advantage of their positions and not running is the bad thing. Sometimes it is necessary to take the unpopular but moral stand and in a small town that can make you loose elections. Ross did the right thing in Eupora and he and his supporters know that, and admire him for it. You need to do some homework on this issue before you use it to take a swipe at Ross. I did allot of homework on him before I decided on who would get my vote.

          • tom permalink
            May 6, 2010 7:42 pm

            TPL, you may want to do your own homework. These are the DCCC talking points. Nunnelee voted for a tobacco tax to keep our car tags from doubling. This bill was supported by Haley and Phil Bryant. Nunnelee has a very conservative record on taxes.

          • Tea Party Leader II permalink
            May 7, 2010 3:56 pm


            No new taxes means no new taxes – that was the pact that Nunnelee signed. Like it or not he did not keep his word. Instead of raising taxes on tobacco, gasoline, and hospitable beds to offset raising taxes on car tags, reduce spending. That would be something that might get my vote. When you give your word you need to stick with it. Nunnelee did not due that and he cannot justify it with that poor excuse.

  10. Tea Party Leader II permalink
    May 6, 2010 5:21 pm

    My friend, I am keeping my word to not trash the candidates. It doesn’t matter who the candidates are – if they have been in office for too long they need to go. The Tea Partiers want new blood serving in DC. We are fed up with government that is driving our country into bankruptcy, inflation, and refuses to accept responsibility for their actions. This covers both Democrats and Republicans. So look out up there in DC – we are coming to help you move out and make room for some real people!

    • Mississippi Elitist permalink
      May 6, 2010 6:11 pm

      Any of these three will be new blood in DC. No wait Ross has worked in DC and as a matter of fact so has McGlowan so I guess that makes Nunnelee the only “new blood in DC” candidate.
      Besides we have new blood in DC his name is Obama!

  11. Yankee Clipper permalink
    May 6, 2010 6:13 pm

    Good discussion guys, stuff like this will help sort out things for all. Does it really matter if Nunlee is a career politician or not if he is the right person at the right time. Any of them once elected to office do their best to remain there as long as possible, at least it seems that way to me. It’s just a matter of who you will be comfortable with as you first choice.

  12. DeSotoDad3 permalink
    May 7, 2010 11:07 am

    Here’s a prediction as of right now! DeSoto county sends under 10,000 votes out June 1st, Ross gets close to half. Alan and Angela fall 2nd and third. Why you ask? Ross is getting infrastructure help from the tea party and a couple of elected officials here who have worked in Wickers campaigns. Lots of networking influence in an area that doesnt watch TV and doesnt read up on what happens in Jackson and is unpollable due to averag age of 30 in DeSoto. Remember, Charlie Ross lost DeSoto by 150 votes to a very visible and well known Phil Bryant. That should speak volumes about a runoff probability between Ross and Nunnelee. not to mention the governors race next year.

    • Tea Party Leader II permalink
      May 8, 2010 4:24 pm

      It is interesting but I have heard several others in Desoto County say that Ross was going to take the county. These are people who do this for the party too! One thing you have to give Ross – he sure knows how to campaign.

  13. Barbara permalink
    May 7, 2010 10:59 pm

    Ross is the only candidate who supports term limits, which gives him the edge for me. However, I’d be okay if either Ross or Nunnelle won the primary. As long as the lady who hasn’t lived in Mississippi in years and owns a small vacant lot to meet eligibility requirements does NOT win. Both Ross and Nunnelle live and work in Mississippi and understand the issues that are important to us.

    McGlowan couldn’t possibly represent me–a lifelong Mississippian who votes here, pays property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, and buys overpriced auto tags (and I thank Nunnelle for raising taxes on tobacco).

    Putting aside the idiocy of her comments on Gallo, her elitist attitude, altercations at events, and now racist remarks, and only focusing on her place of residence, why would anyone in Mississippi vote for her to represent them?

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