Just after Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial run-off election that saw Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeating former state Supreme Court Judge Bill Waller Jr., 54-46%, Hillman Analytics released their mid-August general election survey (8/11-15; 600 MS likely 2019 general election voters). The results gave Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood a 43-42% edge over Mr. Reeves. It will be interesting to see how the run-off result will affect the next polls. The general election is scheduled for November 3rd.
Lt. Governor Tate Reeves scored a 54-46% victory last night in the Mississippi Republican gubernatorial run-off election, meaning that he will oppose four-term Attorney General Jim Hood (D) in the November election. The winner will succeed term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant (R) as the state’s Governor.
Expect the Democrats to make a serious play in the general election despite the state’s Republican voting history. Mr. Hood is often described as “the most successful Democrat in the South” because he has won four consecutive statewide elections here, something of which no other southern Democrat can boast.
Additionally, though Mr. Reeves had the Republican political establishment backing, including Gov. Bryant and former Governor and ex-Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour’s public support, his victory margin appears to be a bit weak. He will have to spend time shoring up his GOP base before directly engaging Mr. Hood. This could be a race to watch in November.
State Rep. Robert Foster (D-Hernando), who finished a distant third with 18% of the vote in the August 6th gubernatorial primary, has endorsed second place finisher Bill Waller Jr., a retired state Supreme Court Judge. He faces front-runner Tate Reeves, Mississippi’s Lt. Governor, in the August 27th Republican run-off. In the first vote, Mr. Reeves came within one percentage point of clinching the nomination outright.
A Mason-Dixon Strategy & Polling survey released before the primary (7/24-27; 500 MS likely Republican voters) gave Mr. Reeves a 41-31% advantage over Mr. Waller if the two were forced into a secondary election.
Mississippi voters went to the polls yesterday to choose nominees to replace term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant (R) in the November general election. Attorney General Jim Hood, as expected, easily defeated seven minor candidates with 69% of the vote to claim the Democratic nomination. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves recorded 49% support in the Republican primary against two opponents, falling just one point short of winning the nomination outright. He now advances to an August 27th run-off election against former state Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller, Jr. The latter man attracted 33% of the vote in finishing second.
Republican turnout ran well ahead of the last open seat nomination period, back in 2011, while Democratic participation fell way short. It is likely that Lt. Gov. Reeves will easily win the GOP run-off, and then be rated as a favorite against Mr. Hood in the November 5th general election.
Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy (7/24-27; 500 MS likely Republican primary voters) released a new pre-primary poll just days before the August 6th Mississippi nomination election.
While the Democrats are poised to nominate Attorney General Jim Hood, Republicans are likely headed to an August 27th run-off election. According to the M-D data, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has only a 41-31-13% lead over retired state Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller and state Rep. Robert Foster (R-Hernando). To win nomination, a candidate must receive 50% support.
The Mississippi Governor’s race is open because incumbent Phil Bryant (R) is ineligible to seek a third term. The Governor has endorsed Lt. Gov. Reeves as his successor.
A new Chism Strategies survey of Mississippi Democrats for Millsaps College (6/20-21; 523 MS likely voters) finds former Vice President Joe Biden with a better than 7-fold lead over his next closest competitor. According to the Chism results, Mr. Biden has 50% support among the Democratic sample as compared to 7% for both Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Following is Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at 5% and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg with only 2% support. All others tally 1% or less.
Yesterday, four African American voters, with the backing of former US Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee, filed suit to challenge the long-held Mississippi electoral practice of requiring statewide candidates not only to win a majority of votes, but also carrying a majority of state House districts. If the top vote-getter fails to win a majority of votes or House districts, the election is deferred to the state House to resolve the outcome.
We shall see if the lawsuit has legs. The last time an electoral contest was referred to the House came in the 1999 Governor’s election, when Democrat Ronnie Musgrove was chosen over Democrat-turned-Republican Congressman Mike Parker.
The Mississippi statewide election system has been in effect since 1890. No first-place candidate in the statewide vote has ever been denied their office when the final vote was sent to the state House.
In the 2019 gubernatorial race, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) and Attorney General Jim Hood (D) are the clear leaders in their respective parties and both are expected to easily win their nominations in the August primary.
Wealthy businessman and Vice Chairman of the Mississippi Lottery Board Gerard Gilbert said yesterday that he is considering challenging Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in next year’s Republican primary. So far, this race has been quiet after the Senator, appointed to serve the remainder of Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R) final term in office after his resignation for health reasons, defeated former US Agriculture Secretary and ex-Mississippi Congressman Mike Espy (D) in a 54-46% special election victory last November.
The Hickman Analytics research organization, polling for the Jim Hood (D) for Governor campaign, tested the Mississippi electorate in preparation for the 2019 state chief executive race, which will be held in November of this year. The position is open because Gov. Phil Bryant (R) is ineligible to seek a third term.
According to the Hickman results (5/5-9; 604 MS likely 2019 gubernatorial election voters), Attorney General Hood would lead Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R), 45-40%, if the election were in the present. Both have August primary opposition, but each is expected to easily win their respective party nominations.
Mr. Hood is often described as the “most successful Democratic politician in the Deep South,” because he was won four consecutive elections as the state AG. Gov. Bryant chose Mr. Reeves as his running mate before the 2011 campaign and has endorsed his gubernatorial candidacy. Prior to serving as Lt. Governor, Mr. Reeves had been the Mississippi state Treasurer for eight years.
What was once thought to be a walk for Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves in the Republican gubernatorial primary may turn into more of a challenge. Yesterday, four former Mississippi Republican Party ex-chairmen jointly endorsed Republican retired state Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller, Jr. over Mr. Reeves.
If Judge Waller can prove an adept fundraiser, this early August primary may be more of a race than originally perceived.
The Rundown Blog
Before you vote, learn more about the candidates who will support a pro-jobs America.