The Clarion-Ledger, 7/17/8

Democrats are pushing harder for Mississippians to head to the polls in November, organizing voter-registration drives and more visits by Sen. Barack Obama to further his presidential bid.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean brings a national bus tour to Jackson on Friday.

Johnnie Patton, who co-chairs Obama’s campaign in Mississippi, said staffers are planning a separate registration drive and a visit from Obama in addition to his September debate at the University of Mississippi with presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain.

Mississippians haven’t voted for a Democratic president since Jimmy Carter, and state Republican Party leaders said they’ll match their rivals’ efforts in turning out the vote. Some political analysts said it will be challenging, though.