Cook Now Calls MS-04 A Toss-Up
The Cook Political Report released their latest group of ratings today and we can longer call the Fourth District race anything but a dog race that will come down to the last 12 days. The latest Cook ratings have moved the Gene Taylor/ Steven Palazzo contest as a toss-up. For reference, they also consider the First District battle between Alan Nunnelee and Travis Childers as a toss-up.
A week ago this race was categorized as Lean Democratic. Two weeks ago it was in the Likely Democratic column. Less than a month ago the race wasn’t even being rated, meaning it was considered safe for Taylor.
GOP Leader to join Nunnelee on bus tour. House Minority Leader John Boehner, the man who will likely be Speaker of the House should Republicans win control of the House, will join Alan Nunnelee on his district-wide bus tour tomorrow.
I mentioned yesterday that Haley Barbour and Phil Bryant have already joined Nunnelee this week. He will also be accompanied by Sen. Roger Wicker on the tour.
** Just a couple interesting finds from the poll released earlier today on the MS-01 race. Travis Childers is actually doing a better job of holding his base than Nunnelee is. Childers is getting 88 percent of Democrats, compared to just 80 percent of Republicans who are going for Nunnelee. A relatively high eight percent of self-identified Republicans are backing Childers.
*** Also, Childers is doing his best among the 17-34 age bracket, and this has been consistent with previous statewide races in Mississippi. This poll revealed that 53 percent of voters in this category are black. This compares to just 21 percent in the 35-54 category and 16 percent who are 55+. This group is also overwhelmingly male (65-35). Obviously this will lead to some interesting demographic changes in the future.
NRCC accuses Taylor of using congressional staff for campaign. The NRCC and Gene Taylor traded shots yesterday about the possible use of taxpayer funded congressional staff to compile voting records that are then used by Taylor in campaign spots. A recent presser from Taylor meant to detail the incumbent’s lack of support for Nancy Pelosi says it was “Compiled by Office of Rep. Gene Taylor from Congressional Quarterly Weekly Magazine, 2009 & 2010.”
The NRCC accused Taylor of using taxpayer money for his campaign; while Taylor fired back saying that he followed House rules and that his staff regularly looks up this type of information for constituent requests. And they noted a barrage of calls asking about his support for Pelosi.
Steven Palazzo joined the debate: “Not only is Congressman Gene Taylor now using tax payer dollars to help his campaign, but he is directly misleading voters with his record. The Washington Post reports that Gene Taylor votes with Nancy Pelosi’s agenda nearly 80 percent of the time.”
** In a meeting with the Clarion-Ledger editorial board Taylor maintained that he will not be voting for Pelosi again; while also saying that his preferred candidate is Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton.
*** Jerry St. Pe, former president of Ingall’s Shipbuilding, has cut a radio spot for Taylor focusing on Taylor’s support for the crucial Coast industry.
Talking Clinton and Ole Miss… We got a couple new columns on the Bill Cinton/ Travis Childers campaign rally at Ole Miss last week. We covered it extensively on Thursday and Friday, but here are some more pieces. ** The Clarion-Ledger opined that the visit was worth it and they spoke with igher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds. *** Brian Perry has a nice rundown of the events and got a quote from MS GOP Chairman Brad White.