Mississippi going red?

From whence did the current massive advantage for the Republicans come? The simple answer is that there are two major directions in which to point the finger of credit and blame.

First, there is the juggernaut-like leadership that the nation’s undisputed premier Republican strategist, Haley Barbour, has brought to Mississippi as governor and titular head of the Mississippi Republicans. His efforts have maximized, to the Republican advantage, the use of seasoned political acumen, computer-driven technology and massive fund raising.

Secondly, and conversely, there is the continuing inability of the Democrats to totally put behind them the divisiveness that has infected the party since the monumental battles over the racial makeup of the Mississippi Democratic Party in the 1960s and early ’70s. Add to this the veritable collapse of the financial base of the Democrats following the tort reform efforts begun under Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and comprehensively brought to a conclusion in the early days of the Barbour administration.

Marty Wisemann
Clarion Ledger