As I predicted a month ago, Mississippi will matter March 13. We have the attention of the nation. The question is: What message will our votes send?
The Republican Presidential Primary may well be make or break for one or more of the remaining GOP contenders.
Mitt Romney, buoyed by Governor Phil Bryant’s endorsement, has surged in the polls, and now looks to finish a strong second, if not win Mississippi outright. A win (or even a near win) in the most conservative state in the nation would send Romney on his way. He would then have the argument the he can win over large blocks of conservative voters.
Another interesting angle has developed. The media elite has started to say openly that Romney can’t win in Mississippi because he’s Mormon. Marty Wiseman made that a theme in his comments to national press.
Mormonism will be a major negative for Romney, Wiseman agreed. Romney is not only “a patrician New Englander . . . but then you throw in the Mormon thing, which is much more than a passing curiosity in this part of the world, (and) you’re asking a lot of very conservative Southern Baptists and independent evangelicals to vote for somebody that they believe is a non-Christian, that’s asking a lot of their faith”.
What an unbelievably huge message would it be for Mississippi to nominate Romney. Both state Democrats and the national media elite would be tongue tied with excuses
Tuesday is for all the marbles if you’re Newt Gingrich. He has to win Mississippi and at least finish second in Alabama to carry on. Anything less, and he’s simply delaying the inevitable. For the Gingrich camp to leak that the former Speaker is considering Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Vice President, either his internal polls have slipped or he’s fishing for those votes that just may put him over the top in the South given the Governor’s conservative popularity. It’s Newt’s Hail Mary in the fourth quarter and time is running out.
Rick Santorum has been a surprise in the polls. The one candidate that seemingly best aligned with Mississippi voters has struggled to connect and spread his message. He was a lock to win Mississippi and Alabama by a wide margin just a few weeks ago but now his victory is not assured, and if he does win, it will be close.
As for Ron Paul, he’s been basically missing in action. He skipped out on Mississippi’s primary, not actively campaigning in the state. Paul had some Tea Party support; it has to disappoint his supporters in Mississippi that he bypassed them and made no play for their votes. It’s time for the good doctor to take a bow and release his delegates.
In true YallPolitics fashion, here’s my prediction for Mississippi’s Republican Presidential primary: Gingrich and Romney will finish 1 and 2 (too close to call), Santorum will finish 3rd with Paul a very distant 4th.
As for the Congressional and Senate primaries, all incumbents will win (and win big): Senator Roger Wicker, Rep. Alan Nunnelee (MS-01), Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS-02), Rep. Gregg Harper (MS-03), and Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-04).
I’ll even go as far as to say that all of the incumbents will also win in November’s general election. A Republican won’t defeat Thompson and Democrats won’t defeat Wicker, Nunnelee, Harper, or Palazzo.
Mark it down.