Five Questions For The Next Seven Days

Congressional candidates in Mississippi (and elsewhere) have one week to find as many undecided voters as possible and draw them to their side. And just like we saw two new Congressmen in 2008, we have the potential for a different face on half the delegation again this year.

Here are a handful of questions for the next seven days:

Will the MS-04 debate on Friday night move anything?

A sole debate three days before an election is an interesting proposition. Can it have any affect on the race? I would lean toward no simply because I do not think that is adequate time for any gaffes, revelations, announcements, etc. to sink in with voters. There is generally a delayed reaction with anything along those lines (borrowing something major), so I question if a good or bad performance by either candidate will influence the race.

What percentage will Bennie Thompson and Gregg Harper get?

It would take a Republican tidal wave to knock off Thompson; as for Harper there is simply no scenario in which he loses. So what percentage of the vote will they receive? For Harper, I think 70 percent would be a strong number. He won 63 percent of the vote in 2008. As for Thompson, I don’t see how he matches his 67 percent of 2008 (with Obama at the top of the ballot). Rather, I’d look to see if Bill Marcy can top the 44 percent Clinton B. LeSueur won in 2002.

Will we see a final push by the DCCC/ Travis Childers in MS-01?

Alan Lange at Yall Politics has long been warning about some type of scorched-earth effort from the DCCC in the final days of the campaign to turn back what looks be a Childers defeat come next Tuesday. You may remember the racial flyer the DCCC sent out on the eve of the special election in May 2008. I wouldn’t put much past the DCCC these days, especially as desperation sets in.

How will Alan Nunnelee do in Desoto county?

We all know Nunnelee will win the voter rich Memphis suburb on Election Day. That isn’t a question. But has Childers made any inroads to the GOP stronghold? He has spent a lot of time there, focused on Congressional duties in that county, put up a respectable vote total for a Democrat- 35 percent- in November 2008 against Southaven mayor Greg Davis, and we’ve read a great deal about the growing minority population in the county. At the same time, Nunnelee had a disappointing showing in the county on primary night. I’d like to see Nunnelee get 68-70 percent with a massive turnout on his side.

Can Gene Taylor break Steven Palazzo’s momentum?

Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that. I can’t say for sure what percentage of the vote Taylor would get if the election was held today, but I just don’t know if he can do anything to actually increase that total over the next seven days. The question becomes whether or not he can hold on to more votes than Palazzo (assuming he has more right now), rather than can he convince voters to join his side. After all, they’ve known about him for 20 years. There isn’t much to learn. Taylor has had a couple attacks on Palazzo- from eminent domain to insurance- but the race isn’t about Palazzo.

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