Yall Politics sent out an email poll (far from scientific) last week to a few hundred people from a variety of backgrounds all across Mississippi asking them to respond to this:

“If you had to pick the Top 20 most influential Mississippi political figures of 2011, who would be on your list? Would it include politicians, campaign consultants, state political party leaders, people in political organizations, bloggers, news reporters, talk show hosts, staffers or agency heads, or someone else? Who made a difference in Mississippi politics this year?”

Here are the results ranked by the number of mentions we received per person/group from the responders:

1. Governor Haley Barbour

2. Lt. Governor/Governor-elect Phil Bryant

3. Mississippi Republican Party

4. Attorney General Jim Hood

5. Treasurer/Lt. Governor-elect Tate Reeves

6. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann

7. Senator Roger Wicker

8. Senator Thad Cochran

9. State Rep. Phillip Gunn, Republican Speaker of the House nominee

10. Congressman Gregg Harper

11. State Rep. Tommy Reynolds

12. Paul Gallo, Host of Super Talk MS The Gallo show

13. Sid Salter, syndicated columnist

14. Frank Corder, co-founder/writer of Fire McCoy and the Boys campaign, and now of Yall Politics

15. Josh Gregory, with the Bryant campaign and administrator of Magnolia Report

16. Brett Kittredge, writer of MajorityinMS

17. Mississippi Tea Party

18. BIPEC (Business and Industry Political Education Committee)

19. Congressman Bennie Thompson

20. James Hendrix, writer of Jackson Jambalaya

Others receiving mentions:

State Auditor Stacey Pickering,
Lobbyists,
Kirk Sims (Bryant campaign),
Richard Wilbourn (chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party’s Move the House committee),
Bill Marcy (District 2 Congressional Republican candidate),
Congressman Steven Palazzo,
Congressman Alan Nunnelee,
David Hampton (Editor at the Clarion Ledger),
Marshall Ramsey (political cartoonist and host of Super Talk MS’s Marshall Ramsey Show),
Leland Speed (Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority),
Speaker Billy McCoy,
State Senator Billy Hewes,
Henry Barbour,
CottonMouth (blog),
State Rep. Sid Bondurant,
State Rep. Becky Currie,
State Rep. Mary Ann Stevens

Mississippi never lacks for passionate political enthusiasts and colorful characters in state and local politics. As we head into 2012, it will be interesting to see who makes a difference in the new year.

Will it be you?