Can Personhood Get 86 Percent This Fall?
When it comes to social issues, black and white Mississippians generally come together in their voting patterns. Seven years ago, a full 86 percent of the state voted to define marriage as one man and one woman for the state Constitution. The vote received the backing of 89 percent of whites and 77 percent of blacks while 85 percent of whites voted for George W. Bush and 90 percent of blacks backed John Kerry.
Needless to say, there was no racial divide of any significance on this issue. Heck, there wasn’t much of an ideological divide with 72 percent of self-identified liberals supporting the ban. Below is a map outlining support for the ban across the state. It’s obviously all red, meaning every county supported it, with the darker red shades indicating a stronger support for it.
Tunica, where 73 percent voted for the ban, would turn out to be the least supportive of the ban, and the only county in the state where less than three-quarters of the voters supported it.
Full exit polling here
That leads me to the upcoming Personhood amendment ballot initiative where voters will have the opportunity to define life at the moment of conception. Most legislators, except for a few in Jackson or the Delta, identify as pro-life as do the bulk of the voters. And backing of the initiative has been bi-partisan. At a recent debate, Democratic gubernatorial candidates Bill Luckett and Johnny DuPree both said they support the measure. And last year, Speaker Billy McCoy was among those who signed the initiative so it would be placed on the ballot (of course he has appointed chairman who like to hold up or kill pro-life legislation but that is a different story).
Getting 86 percent of people to agree on anything is difficult, but I believe we will see broad support in every county throughout the state for the initiative.