These are NOT to be construed as endorsements, but just what I think will happen. There are so many races, but these are the ones I have followed with the most interest. This is everyone’s chance to get on the record for any race tomorrow.
Haley Barbour and John Eaves (duh). The only intrigue will be to watch the total vote number to see if there is any dropoff or determine the extent of crossover voting on downticket races.
Phil Bryant and Jamie Franks. Though there has been a lot of intrigue on the R side, at the end of the day, I still believe that Bryant’s lead, though shrinking, will not ultimately be overcome. My range has tightened. I think it will be 7-8 points for Bryant. Both candidates have run good races and would be good Lt. Governors. Again, watch the combined numbers of Ross v. Bryant and that of what Franks gets. That will be an interesting barometer for November.
Secretary of State
Delbert Hosemann and John Windsor. Eric Clark leaves a big hole, but he has not been involved on anyone’s side. The only intrigue on the R side is whether Delbert Hosemann will come out as the clear winner on the R side without a runoff. I think he will. Jeffrey Rupp has raised some money and had some TV and is regionally known. Rep. Mike Lott (R) from Petal has just not had much traction. On the D side, although Rob Smith is a former State Senator and onetime statewide candidate, John Windsor is better funded and better organized. Ultimately, it won’t matter much. Hosemann is a prohibitive favorite come November.
Tate Reeves and Shawn O’Hara. If anyone could lose an uncontested primary, it’s O’Hara. This will be a wipeout in November.
Stacey Pickering and Jacob Ray. Stacey gets a bye on the R side of the ledger. I changed my thinking on this race. I had originally picked Sumrall, but Jacob Ray has been working hard and has some hardened trial lawyer money behind him. Todd Brand and Mike Sumrall have just not gotten much traction. Pickering will be very well funded and the prohibitive favorite in November.
Mike Chaney and George Dale. Dale has a real threat on his hands, but has spent his money well and I think will survive the challenge from Gary Anderson (probably in low single digits).
Al Hopkins and Jim Hood. No surprises here, but watch the total numbers, especially for Hopkins to gauge his support and how he carries from the top of the ticket.
Lester Spell and Rickey Cole. As I have said before, the power of incumbency will likely keep Spell in as he has had superior funding. Max Phillips is a real challenger and it will be closer than many imagined, but I don’t think he will be able to get over on Spell. If there is a real upset in a statewide race, Max Phillips may be that story.
OTHER RACES OF INTEREST
Senate 19 (R primary)
Merle Flowers vs. Kevin Blackwell. This has been a battle royale of sorts. Flowers is an up and coming star with Barbour, Reeves and others campaigning overtly for him. Flowers will win this primary.
Senate 51 (R primary)
Tommy Robertson vs. Michael Watson. Special interest money has flowed to this race by the bucketful against Robertson because of backlash on his stance against raising tobacco taxes and his state contract that fell under some scrutiny. Robertson will survive, I think, as not many know Watson. Robertson will have another challenge in November just fighting off the sour grapes special interest money flowing to “anyone but Robertson”.
Senate 34 (R primary)
Nic Lott vs. Pete Rutland. There has been a whole lot of intrigue around Nic Lott, a former Trent Lott staffer. I think Nic Lott will win the primary.
Hinds County Sheriff (D primary)
Malcolm McMillin vs. Tyrone Lewis. McMillin should carry the day here. There have been some VERY unfortunate campaign tactics on his behalf, but I don’t think Lewis will beat McMillin.
Hinds County District Attorney (D primary). Faye Peterson vs. Robert Smith vs. Michelle Purvis. This is a toss up, and I think is almost assured to go to a runoff. My sense is that Robert Smith and Faye Peterson will wind up in a runoff, but I’d be surprised if anyone got 50+1% on August 7. Michelle Purvis could sneak into that runoff as well. This one is anyone’s guess.
Hinds Supervisor District 1 (R primary). Roger Davis vs. Randy Gant. Roger Davis has been working very hard. I think he will pick up the nomination.
Hinds Supervisor District 1 (D Primary). Sean Perkins vs. Robert Graham. Sean had a credible run in 2003 for Election Commissioner, but fell short. Robert Graham has about 20 years of name ID. This is a toss up. If I had to pick, I’d say Perkins, but I am really iffy on this one.
Central District PSC (R primary)
Charles Barbour vs. Jimmy Foster. This could go either way. I don’t have a good sense of this race. Having Barbour as your last name can’t hurt in any election right now, but Foster is pretty popular in a very heavy R county (Rankin). I think Foster might eeke this one out.
Again, these are NOT, I REPEAT NOT ENDORSEMENTS . . . just predictions. They’re worth what you pay for them.
Everyone get on record. Polls close at 7:00 p.m. on August 7.