Two more state House members have switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in Mississippi today.

Reps. Russ Nowell and Margaret Rogers collectively put the Republican tally at 53, which is only 9 short of the magic 62 votes needed to elect a new Speaker of the House. The magic number tis really smaller than 9 as there will be at least two or three existing Democrats that would likely vote with Republicans. With the practical magic number at 6-7, you can bet the heat will be on to identify vulnerable Democrats to switch before qualifying day or beat at the ballot box to get to the magic number. Kudos again to Brad White and Governor Haley Barbour for the leadership they have shown.

Steve Holland has been quoted as saying “It’s good for them to finally embrace who they are.” Maybe so, but my sense is that if too many people embrace who they finally are, Steve Holland will be embracing minority status. My continued challege to leaders in the Democratic Party remains, why don’t you go ahead and identify those disloyal folks BEFORE they leave?

We have been documeting this issue for a while now. The Democratic Party in Mississippi remains in serious trouble.

All of this leads to my personal belief is that Rep. Billy McCoy will not run again as Speaker. There are just too many leaks on the ship and he has just not been able to hold things together.

We’ll soon see.