Alabama, Mississippi and New Mexico primaries: What to Watch For

Meanwhile, two hundred miles to the west in Mississippi’s 1st district, state Sen. Alan Nunnelee faces a primary fight from — among others — former Fox News Channel commentator Angela McGlowan.

National Republicans have made clear they believe Nunnelee, who hails from Tupelo, is their best chance at beating Rep. Travis Childers (D) who won the northern Mississippi district in a May 2008 special election.

Neither Roby nor Nunnelee have run nearly as poor a campaign as Ward did — few candidates can lay claim to that sort of disastrous performance — and both are favored to win today. But, a loss — or even a close win — will raise further doubts about the power of the national party to pick their preferred candidates in an electoral environment of anger and volatility.