Campaigns downplay race, but voters don’t follow suit

Most people were not surprised that Republican Phil Bryant won the governor’s race last week.

But Bryant’s landslide victory over Democrat Johnny DuPree may have been another surprise.

DuPree carried just 39 percent of the vote to Bryant’s 61 percent.

“I thought he could have gotten 47 percent,” said state Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg.

While neither DuPree, the state’s first African-American major party candidate for governor, nor Bryant, who is white, made an issue of race during this year’s gubernatorial election, the Nov. 8 returns suggest it still may have been on voters’ minds.

The 22 counties DuPree won have majority black populations, and polls showed African Americans made up the majority of his support base.

Clarion Ledger
11/16/11