Obama as nominee could give boost to other Mississippi Dems

So, given the historic voting patterns in Mississippi, does that then hurt the Republicans?

“It probably means that more of Gov. Musgrove’s base will turn out to vote,” Barbour said. “But, you know, at the end of the day I think most Mississippians’ views are much closer to those of Roger Wicker and (U.S. Sen.) Thad Cochran and Haley Barbour than they are to Barack Obama and Ronnie Musgrove.”

Mississippi has voted Republican in every presidential race since 1980, and Democrats have not held either of the state’s U.S. Senate seats since John C. Stennis retired in 1988.

During the 2003 gubernatorial campaign, President Bush and other top Republicans came to Mississippi to campaign for Barbour, but Musgrove never invited any national Democrats to campaign here for him. Musgrove barely mentioned the word “Democrat” in his ads or speeches, promoting himself instead as “independent” and “conservative.”

Musgrove might have to mend relationships within the Democratic Party if he wants enthusiastic support of party insiders this year. Notably, he might want to develop an alliance with U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, who is co-chairman of Obama’s Mississippi campaign and who has a strong network of political supporters in his majority-black Delta congressional district.

Sun Herald