I’ve been saying two things for months.
1. That we would have two elections (2011 and 2012), and
2. That Billy McCoy would not run again as Speaker.
I don’t have any special inside info, but I think the Senate vote today was another major strike against Billy McCoy making a return as Speaker. Even Phil Bryant was wishing him well as if to say, “congrats on your career.”
Had McCoy somehow pulled off a stacked redistricting plan, I think he might have announced he was staying around, but I continue to think this is it for him. For a redistricting deal to be struck outside of a courtroom, Democrats are now going to be the ones that seek the middle ground. When they do that, they will have to concede to fair districts that will likely put the Speaker’s seat on the table. To do that, they’ll have to ask Haley Barbour to call a special session on redistricting, and he would only do that for a lock-cinch deal.
No one can ever really know how litigation is going to turn out (especially with 3 judges), but it’s hard for me to imagine that a 3 judge panel gets named and all of the due process gets run in time to have districts lined up with adequate time for candidates to qualify by June 1. That’s a pretty tall order.