The Republican party has never been stronger. Out of thirteen statewide races on the ballot this Tuesday, Republicans took all but one, which came down to a couple thousand votes. In Mississippi, Republicans swept all statewide offices for the first time in decades. Mainstream media is attempting to diminish President Trump’s impact, but there should be no doubt that the “Trump Bump” has ushered in new and unstoppable momentum for the Republican party.
Leading into the elections Mississippi voters read headlines like “Poll: Governor’s race remains close” citing analysis that projected Lt. Governor Tate Reeves leading Attorney General Hood by 3 percentage points but falling well short of the “50 plus one” requirement to win in Mississippi. Even Fox News characterized the race as a “nail-biting gubernatorial contest.”
This is why during the last few weeks Mississippi media provided us all with in-depth coverage on Mississippi’s two-tiered constitutional provision that requires a candidate receive both a majority of the popular vote and a majority of Mississippi’s 122 state house districts. There were wild predictions that AG Hood could win the popular vote but ultimately lose to Lt. Gov. Reeves if the final decision was sent to the state house where Republicans hold a healthy, 26-seat majority.
National media started a frenzy when they suddenly remembered this two-tiered requirement was put in place when Jim Crow was rampant in our state. They must have forgotten this historic element when former Democrat Governor Ronnie Musgrove relied on the two-tiered requirements to take the Governorship in 2000. They must have also forgotten that it was the Democrat party itself that put Jim Crow on the books. But today’s media tends to not let facts get in the way of their preferred narrative.
Once again the polls and the prevailing narrative were proven wrong by President Trump. After the Make America Great Again rally in Tupelo and a visit from Vice President Pence down on the coast, Governor-elect Reeves handedly beat AG Hood by 5 percentage points. There is an undeniable – and statistically measurable – upswing in the governor’s race that is directly attributable to the “Trump Bump.”
Ask any campaign aficionado about what is one of the most important factors leading into the final weeks and days of a campaign and they will undoubtedly say voter enthusiasm. It’s especially crucial in today’s 24/7 news cycle where voters are bombarded with campaign commercials, ads, signs and mailers. Campaign fatigue, which is common, is a candidate’s biggest challenge.
President Trump’s rallies are the perfect anecdote. They inspire and activate local Republicans to go to the polls right at a crucial time. Every candidate that has received support from the president and had a rally in their state close to election day has received a significant upswing. Democrats have nothing that even is close in comparison.
Even with this significant advantage, Republicans have not won 100 percent of the time proving that retaining strong, likable candidates remains the a very important factor. This reality was on full display in Kentucky where Republicans lost the governorship, but picked up seats in the state, including Attorney General-elect Daniel Cameron who is the first ever African American to hold statewide office.
We had a similar historic outcome in Mississippi after Republican Lynn Fitch was elected Mississippi’s first female attorney general. If Attorney General-elect Fitch would have been a Democrat, this would have been the headline. Unfortunately, we see headlines like this from our own Clarion Ledger: “Trump takes credit for Tate Reeves win in Mississippi. Does he deserve it?”
Turns out even Mississippi and its newspapers, are not immune from general liberal bias.
The reality is that the Republican party is fired up and strategically organized in a way no other campaign can compete. We’ve got a massive ground game that spans 18 states, 1,750 reelection initiatives and have activated 24,500 republican activists. The best part is we have a president who continues to deliver on promises and fight for the American people. No one is tired of winning yet and it’s a good thing, because there will be a victorious wave come November 2020.
Mandy Gunasekara is a former Trump Administration Official, Founder of Energy 45 and senior contributor to Y’all Politics.