For Wicker, he is running with the weight of a president from his party with some of the worst approval ratings in history. Despite that fact, Mississippi has in the past given President George W. Bush the highest percentage win of any state in the union.
But more difficult for Wicker to distance himself from is a struggling economy plagued by soaring fuel and food costs and a serious credit crunch. With every increase in the price of gasoline, Wicker’s campaign becomes more difficult.
For Musgrove, he must traverse the minefield of ongoing investigations into the failed Mississippi Beef Processors plant and any additional litigation in the Maddox Foundation debacle in Tennessee.
The national Democratic ticket could be either blessing or curse for Musgrove. For every motivated new or young voter and every African-American voter that Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama attracts, the hard reality is that Mississippi has never elected an African-American candidate to statewide office.
Both candidates – who are former roommates – face obstacles and challenges. Partisans on both sides say this race will go down to the wire and that it’s very close.
Yet more than at any time since the World War II era, state Democrats and Republicans alike approach this election believing they can and will win.