Mississippians add their voice to the national conversation Tuesday when voters here head to the polls for both the Republican and Democrat presidential and congressional primaries.
Yall Politics’ presidential poll (below) released last week shows Donald Trump with a commanding lead in the Magnolia State.
Yall Politics Presidential Poll
Trump may very well carry Mississippi but Ted Cruz has been gaining ground following a week where conservatives have seemingly circled the wagons in an attempt to slow the New York businessman’s roll toward the Republican nomination. Some of that has come out of Rubio’s hide, and of course, Ben Carson is now out of the race as well.
Marco Rubio has essentially gone all in, even perhaps at the expense of his own once promising White House bid, to expose Trump’s flexibility and questionable conservative bona fides, as well his raucous temperament. Being that it is the Florida Senator who has almost single handedly taken Trump on in recent weeks, Rubio could be taking one for the team. Like Rudy Giuliani in 2008, Florida is his firewall. That didn’t work out well for Rudy then, and we will likely know by the middle of next week whether or not it works for Rubio. A loss in Florida for Rubio essentially ends his bid.
John Kasich has picked up the endorsement of state newspapers in large part by playing up his staying above the Trump-Cruz-Rubio fray. His continuance in the race hurts Rubio most and his time in Mississippi over the past two weeks may allow him to move up the chain. Kasich will likely be competitive in Michigan and if he wins in Ohio, he could lurk for a while longer and continue to siphon delegates.
It would not surprise me if Trump wins the primary but by a closer margin than our poll depicts. If Louisiana is any indication, the Trump number (low 40s) is about right, but the rest of the field stacked up a bit differently. Our poll indicated 13% undecided, and in other states, that has generally trended anti-Trump as most people aren’t unsure about how they feel about him. Cruz and Kasich’s Mississippi networks are strong while Rubio has put very little effort into the state.
Prediction: Trump wins Mississippi with Cruz a closer second than predicted while Rubio and Kasich battle for third, perhaps with Kasich even overtaking Rubio in the end.
As for the Democrat presidential primary, the AP might as well call it for Hillary Clinton as soon as the polls close. The former First Lady will win running away with it over Bernie Sanders. After all, this is still Mississippi, the most conservative state in the nation. No avowed socialist will win here, even if it is in the Democrat primary.
Move along. There is really nothing to see here.
All incumbent Mississippi congressmen will win their party’s nomination Tuesday. Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS01), Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS02), Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS03), and Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS04) will also be favored to win reelection in November.
SD 25 Special Election
There is also a special election for Senate District 25 where Bill Billingsley and Walter Michel are vying to replace now Judge Will Longwitz.
Michel is seeking a return to the Legislature while Billingsley continues his thus far unsuccessful quest at elective office. Michel should be seen as the favorite to win but given the tenor of this election cycle anything is possible. Look for the two to likely battle to a draw in the Madison County part of the district, but the Hinds County portion will likely heavily favor Michel.