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Bryant Winning Over 60 Percent

November 9, 2011

With about 60 precincts remaining out of nearly 1,900, Phil Bryant is on pace for the largest Republican victory in modern times, surpassing the 58 percent received by a very popular Haley Barbour in 2007. Right now, Bryant is at 61 percent, or 500,899 votes, compared to 39 percent for Democrat Johnny DuPree. Forty percent is usually the basement for a Democrat and DuPree’s numbers are similar to those received by Shawn O’Hara in 2007.

DuPree didn’t raise or spend much money, didn’t even run an ad on television, but instead talked about ground game, grassroots activists, etc. Besides the obvious inability for Democrats not named Jim Hood to raise money at a statewide level, I am sure there are going to be discussions about DuPree’s strategy of not going negative. I don’t think it would have made a difference, but there are certainly those who disagree with the way DuPree’s campaign was run. It helped DuPree achieve pretty solid net favorability ratings, but didn’t translate into actual votes.

As for the other statewide races, Delbert Hosemann had nobody on the ballot against him. Tate Reeves and Stacey Pickering had Reform Party candidates, winning 80 and 76 percent respectively. In the insurance commissioner’s race, Mike Chaney had minor opposition from Democrat Louis Fondren and won going away with 62 percent, the highest total for a Republican matched with a Democrat.

And Mississippi will soon have two female office holders. Lynn Fitch defeated Democrat Connie Moran by a 59-38 margin and will be the next treasurer, taking over for Reeves. Cindy Hyde-Smith fended off Joel Gill 57-40, winning the agriculture commissioner’s race. Jim Hood will be back for another four years as the only Democrat elected statewide. He had another strong showing defeating Steve Simpson 61-39. Again, the question will be what does Hood do next- if anything?

As for the six regional races, we didn’t see any surprises. As expected, Tom King won the open Southern District Transportation Commissioner’s race providing the GOP with a pickup here in the open seat. The former senator was very strong, winning 61-39 over Larry Albritton. Mike Tagert won a first full-term in the northern district and Dick Hall beat back a strong challenge from Marshand Crisler, winning 52-48. This means that over the course of just one year, this commission has gone from two Democrats and one Republican to three Republicans, no Democrats.

In the PSC races, incumbents held serve. We were watching the northern district race, and Democrat Brandon Presley will be back after defeating Boyce Adams 55-45. Of these 14 offices, Presley joins Hood as the only elected Democrats. Republicans Lynn Posey and Leonard Bentz also won re-election meaning the GOP will maintain their 2-1 edge on this commission.

Keep in mind that Democrats had a 2-1 advantage on both of these commissions’s following the 2007 election. While the GOP made historical statewide gains in 2007, it looks like it all came together in 2011 helping Republicans down ballot.

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