Election shell game could backfire

Though Childers will be favored to win the May 13 runoff to fill the seat until November, even if he loses then it won’t hurt his chances to win in the fall says Marty Wiseman, the respected political analyst of the Stennis Institute at Mississippi State University.

“There are good prospects that Democrats in Northeast Mississippi will bring it all together in November,” says Wiseman.

Having Wicker on the same GOP ticket with presidential nominee John McCain in November is certainly not a good fit. McCain is known for being adamantly opposed to “earmarks” (otherwise pork barrel) slipped into appropriations in the final markup of spending bills, thus avoiding floor debate. Wicker, last year, was regarded as the U.S. House’s “Prince of Pork,” slipping more earmarks into appropriations than any other member.

You can expect Wicker’s pork barrel record to be made an issue by Musgrove in this fall’s Senate race, primarily on grounds that it runs counter to the traditional Republican claim of fiscal responsibility, as well as cross-wise from McCain at the head of the GOP ticket.

There’s growing optimism in the Mississippi Democratic Party that Wicker is highly beatable and that Musgrove’s statewide name recognition is a major asset. Meantime, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is providing Musgrove with campaign handlers who successfully elected Democratic senators in the 2006 Senate takeover.

Bill Minor
Clarksdale Press Register