Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Mississippi Governor's Race May Get All Shook Up

As we have noted, Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) is not very popular. He's presided over a rough period in Mississippi history (of which there are admittedly many), between the pandemic and the economic downturn there and the inability of the state government to deliver potable water to its citizens. Consequently, he hesitated a bit on the decision of whether or not to run for reelection this year. However, he did eventually file for another run.

A new poll, released late last week, suggests that he may regret that decision. According to Mississippi Today/Siena College, just 33% of Mississippians support Reeves for another term. On the other hand, 57% would prefer to vote for someone besides him.

The very important question here is how much of that 57% would vote for anyone who is not Reeves, and how much of that 57% would only vote for a Republican who is not Reeves. Needless to say, the Democrats are going to find out. And the Party believes it has a candidate who might actually be able to knock off Reeves. It's Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, who released his announcement video yesterday.

Presley has earned raves for his skill at retail politics, and has, in past elections won considerably more votes in the red portions of Mississippi than Democrats normally do. He's also got the enthusiastic backing of the Democratic establishment, including far and away the most important Democrat in Mississippi, Rep. Bennie Thompson. And, as you may have guessed from the headline, he is indeed related to Elvis Presley. Based on the announcement video, it would seem the would-be governor is going to make sure everyone in Mississippi is aware of that fact.

Presley is going to run an outsider, populist campaign in which he portrays Reeves as out-of-touch, incompetent, and a tool of wealthy corporate interests. Could it work? It's not impossible. Remember that Southern states are considerably more open to electing Democratic governors than they are Democratic senators/presidents. Currently, Lousiana, Kentucky, and North Carolina all have Democratic governors. Mississippi has had a Democrat in the governor's mansion as recently as 2004 (Ronnie Musgrove). Of course, we'll want to see some polling before we decide if Presley really is viable, or if he ain't nothin' but a hound dog. (Z)

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