The media, rooting for blood sport, is pining for a scenario where Reeves loses.
As qualifying for the 2023 Mississippi statewide elections near, at least one media outlet seems breathlessly desperate to peddle the likelihood of Governor Tate Reeves, a Republican, being defeated in a primary or by a Democrat or heck, even by an Independent in a possible runoff scenario now that winning the popular vote is the sole factor for statewide candidates.
What is left of the media establishment in Mississippi is largely bolstered by a handful of mega-rich donors who have co-opted media partners to convince Magnolia State voters to believe that Governor Reeves faces the real prospect of being beat in his 2023 re-election bid, if for no other reason than to give Democratic Party friends a glimmer of hope at retaking the Governor’s Mansion, something that has not happened in 20 years.
As a reminder, despite running their best candidate since Ronnie Musgrove in 2019, Jim Hood, the Democrat experiment flamed out in pedestrian fashion – and it was not even particularly close.
News flash: It is extremely unlikely to happen in 2023 either.
Add in the fact that these media outlets despise Reeves personally and what you will see when reading and analyzing their work is a systemic bias against the Governor. They do this mostly by strategically and routinely manufacturing and promoting intraparty executive/legislative branch squabbles along with questionable polling from partisans, using it all as a backdrop to prop up their hot clickbait takes.
The truth is that there is no discernable conservative case against Governor Reeves. He will not be beaten from his right flank, and that is exactly why these outlets are desperately trying to create and promulgate a solution that could win with someone less conservative. After all, that is always the media’s goal – root for the least conservative option.
Generally speaking, Reeves has steered his politics to where Mississippi voters’ values are – sound fiscal policy, pro-life, anti-woke and against D.C. overreach. Polling indicates that even those Republicans that entered into the pandemic with a less favorable view of Reeves became essentially begrudging fans of how the Governor struck the balance between public health and economic considerations.
Speaker Philip Gunn, Attorney General Fitch or any other incumbent Republican being mentioned as a possible 2023 gubernatorial candidate versus Reeves is merely the media rooting for blood sport. Beating Reeves in a primary would be a major uphill battle.
In truth, the same doomsday scenario the mainstream media is using to manufacture their case against Governor Reeves could be said for each of the 8 statewide offices, all of which are now held by Republicans for the first time in modern political history, a feat that was not achieved until 2019.
Lest we forget, the Democratic Party could not even field candidates for some of those statewide races last cycle.
For his part, Reeves has clearly made some enemies over the last 20 years in statewide office, most of which came during his 8 years as Lieutenant Governor, and he has done little to endear himself to the media establishment, further fueling their hostility. Policy sausage making is not always pretty, polite or politically advantageous if the officeholder is doing his/her job as they have told voters they would. Plus, making friends becomes a lot harder when you routinely have to say, “No,” to hold fast to your convictions and that is not a word other elected officials and lobbyists under the Dome with egos like to hear.
Much to the chagrin and dismay of the Mississippi media echo chamber, unseating Reeves – a known quantity to Mississippi voters – with an unproven or upstart challenger in 2023 with little to no executive political experience, especially in this current political environment, is not a realistic scenario a majority of Mississippi voters would likely be willing to risk.
Anyone who says otherwise is either lying to you outright or an intentionally disingenuous news outlet in “non-partisan” journalist’s clothing.