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A Look At Bryant’s Big Victory

November 9, 2011

When you look beyond the 61 percent of the vote that Phil Bryant received last night, and closely examine the county results you then see the real strength of Bryant’s victory. Bryant flipped several counties that supported John Arthur Eaves, and largely relegated Johnny DuPree to the Delta and River counties with some majority-black counties throughout the state mixed in.

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know how much we have said about Northeast Mississippi. The swing portion of the state that generally decides statewide elections? Throw that out the window. It’s now as solidly Republican as South Mississippi.

Bryant won Benton, Prentiss, and Chickasaw counties, all won by Eaves in 2007. Beyond that, the numbers are amazing to look at: Bryant won 69 percent in Calhoun, 71 percent in Choctaw, 78 percent in Itawamba, 69 percent in Lee, 77 percent in Pontotoc, 70 percent in Prentiss, 75 percent in Tishomingo, 75 percent in Tippah, and 78 percent in Union. I could give you 2007 numbers on all these, but here’s one that paints the picture real well: Barbour won 53 percent in Itawamba in 2007- it moved 25 points toward the Republican candidate over the course of one election.

And to make matters even better for the GOP, the top of the ticket helped carry several Republican House and Senate candidates in this region.

Looking at the rest of the state, Bryant was certainly strong in the traditionally Republican Pine Belt, which happens to be DuPree’s home base. Bryant defeated the Hattiesburg mayor in Forrest county, where the city is mostly located, 58-42. He was even stronger in the surrounding areas- 71 percent in Jones and 79 percent in Lamar. And the Coast and the rest of South Mississippi continued to be a Republican anchor as it has been for some time now.

In the metro area, DuPree outperformed Eaves winning Hinds 66 percent of the vote there. Bryant had better luck in the GOP suburbs, winning Madison (63 percent) and Rankin (80 percent) easily. The only county to give a higher vote total to the Republican was Pearl River, where Bryant won 83 percent.

DuPree picked up Adams county, which voted for Barbour in 2007, but obviously not a lot of good here if you are a Democrat. As of right now, the Democrats have been minimized to majority-black counties. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I would say every county DuPree won was majority-black, or at least in the upper 40s. You obviously need to compete beyond that if you’re going to win statewide.

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