A Way Too Early Look At 2015
Over the past year, I’d say the bulk of our attention has been on House races. Most saw them as the key battleground with Democrats having only slight hope in the Senate and no hope in statewides (except for AG obviously). We first looked at potentially competitive House races back in February. We looked at seven. Republicans flipped four and barely missed out on the other three. And throughout the months that would follow we did our best to support the Republican candidates but provide factual information on what was happening in House races throughout the entire state, rather than lead you on. And I think that is more useful than anything else because that information is just not readily available.
We didn’t make many bold predictions because I don’t like to, but regularly looked at the key races and even developed House ratings for all 122 seats at one point.
I don’t know what 2015 will bring, but I figured there was no time like the present to take the first look at potentially competitive House races the next time we do this thing. I doubt this will be updated for three-and-a-half years, but here is a start.
HD 2- Nick Bain
HD 4- Jody Steverson
HD 45- Bennett Malone
And right behind them would be HD 79 (Bo Eaton), HD 86 (Sherra Lane), and HD 122 (David Baria). As for Bain and Steverson, they barely survived the Republican tide in Northeast Mississippi but won nice open seats for the Democratic Party. And I still believe Malone is gone after this term. But Republicans should contest there either way.
If the Republicans play redistricting right, I would like to see several other Democrats at the top of the list.
HD 3- Tracy Arnold
HD 13- Steve Massengill
HD 21- Donnie Bell*
HD 28- Tommy Taylor
HD 93- Timmy Lander
HD 105- Dennis Debar
HD 111- Charles Busby
HD 121- Carolyn Crawford
Generally speaking, this is freshman Republicans who were in the mid-50s and lower. Usually when a district finally flips, it doesn’t flip back, but just wanted to put them out there. For Bell, his voting record over the next four years will be a big issue. He could certainly face a primary challenge and that would my first concern if I was him.
Republicans who survived strong Democratic challenges were Bill Denny (HD 64) and Greg Snowden (HD 83). I expect them to each see a friendlier district when the new maps are drawn.
And, of course, those new maps are the major variable. Last time around, Democrats attempted to draw an incumbent protection plan for their majority. I see the GOP being more aggressive here and attempting to pick off at least a few seats and strengthen their majority under the new maps.