STARKVILLE — Mississippians voted earlier this month to hand the keys to the state Capitol to exclusive Republican leadership. Gov.-Elect Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov.-Elect Tate Reeves, and House Speaker-Designate Rep. Philip Gunn are all Republican and Republicans have majorities in the Senate and the House for the first time since Reconstruction.
Democrats hold only one seat — that of veteran 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Bolton — in the state’s congressional delegation.
Does that Republican-heavy reality make Mississippi a flyover state for Democrats in the 2012 presidential election? Perhaps.
But for Republicans — like Rick Perry who visited Mississippi earlier this week — it won’t stop contenders for the nomination from coming to Mississippi seeking campaign cash and the political blessings of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. Despite bowing out of a presidential bid in his own right earlier this year, Barbour remains a force of nature in national Republican politics and his support will be courted by all serious GOP presidential contenders.