The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 5/28/8

Two nonpartisan national political observers with solid track records as students of Mississippi politics say that the Mississippi special election to choose a permanent successor to former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott is now a legitimate horse race.

Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report and longtime columnist for Roll Call magazine, said on May 20 that the race could no longer be considered “safe for Republicans.”

Rothenberg’s call came after the release of a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee poll showed former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove with a 48 percent to 40 percent lead over Republican interim U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker in the race.

“Musgrove benefits from higher name identification, and the race will be close, but the initial numbers are good for the Democrat,” Rothenberg said. The DSCC poll showed Musgrove with significantly higher name recognition than Wicker, but that Musgrove had over twice the “unfavorable” rating than did Wicker.