With the DCCC and the NRCC dumping millions into a hotly contested race in Mississippi’s First District, the battle lines have been drawn. Southaven Mayor Greg Davis, a Republican, will be facing Democrat Travis Childers for the special election runoff.
The decision, though some have tried to obfuscate it, is pretty stark.
On one side, hailing from the east side of the district is Travis Childers (D). He has been supported by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the DCCC. He has, in fact, been promised a seat on the House Agriculture Committee should he win. Though his part of the district is generally less populous, Childers has done a good job of casting his net of support over more rural counties in the district and turned out impressive numbers in the special election. Since his primary, he has largely run away from his Obama support, and the Obama campaign pulled the support page on the website posted just one day before the special election. Childers has also repeatedly been questioned about who he would support nationally for president, opting not to answer, but saying only that he’s “a Democrat”.
On the other side, Southaven Mayor Greg Davis (R) has received support from Haley Barbour, Thad Cochran, Roger Wicker, Vice President Dick Cheney and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). Davis has been promoted for a seat on the Veterans Affairs Committee, courtesy of Boehner, should he win. Davis has a huge population base on the west side of the district. Desoto County is the most Republican of Republican counties. The conventional wisdom is that Davis will have to really run up the score by 8000+ votes (more than in the last election) in order of offset Childers’ assumed strength in the eastern, more rural areas.
And then it got real nasty . . .
On Monday afternoon (5/12), the DCCC was pushing the following ad on the streets of the district.
(Huge hattip to Right of Mississippi)
This ad certainly begs some questions. First, if the DCCC was so proud of the message, why not put it on TV with the $1,000,000 they dropped in the campaign? Second, why only drop this on the street one day before the election? Would it be so that no press would pick up on it?
Candidly, I don’t know how this election shakes out. It’s a 3 point race that could go either way. However, this is why we do this site . . . to uncover this kind of naked racial bigotry that was unfortunately done, in this case, on Travis Childers’ behalf. So far, we have not received any press releases from Childers’ campaign, the DCCC or the Mississippi Democratic Party disavowing the message. For someone who has been as closely linked to the now disgraced trial lawyer and admitted felon, Joey Langston, as Childers has been, maybe it can be assumed that the “ends justifies the means” mindset runs through their circle of acquaintances.
This district has massive voter and donor fatigue. This will be the 5th election since last November. The stakes are high. For the RNC, it is a chance to stop the perceived bleeding and show the south is still solid. For the DNC, it’s a chance to add fuel to the fire of an unexpected open seat special election win in Louisiana. Both sides will have to get out every vote. Though it will be the election undercard behind the Obama/Clinton primary in West Virginia on Tuesday the 13th, expect it to be the fight of the night.