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Odds & Ends: The Black Vote And NEMS

November 8, 2011

With Phil Bryant on pace to keep the governor’s mansion in Republican hands tonight, there are a couple areas within that vote to pay attention to that will have ramifications beyond this race.

The first, and probably the most obvious, is the strength of the black vote in support of Johnny DuPree. This isn’t likely going to be enough to flip the tables in DuPree’s favor as we’ve seen from polling, but the talk has always been that he may increase the black turnout in a way that can have an impact on electing Democratic candidates in House and Senate races.

According to yesterday’s polling, they had DuPree up 80-11 among the black vote. Any Democrat can do that. Jim Hood is actually stronger with the black vote than DuPree, up 86-6 according to the same poll. I expected DuPre to receive Obama like numbers (+90), but +70 won’t cut it and draws into question the impact he may be having on House races.

As for Phil Bryant, I’m interested to see how he does in Northeast Mississippi. We know he’s going to win but can he run up the score here? This would likely translate well for the numerous House races in the area that should be competitive and may be the difference between a Republican and Democratic Speaker.

This area has been transforming from its Democratic roots over the past decade into strong territory for Republicans. In the primary, DuPree was awful here as this region gave Bill Luckett his biggest victories. I expect Bryant to be stronger here than Haley Barbour was in 2003 and 2007, but we will see if the top of the Republican ticket can pull Republican House candidates this time.

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