Home » Mississippi
Category Archives: Mississippi
All of the no-shows represent districts carried by Hillary Clinton
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
WASHINGTON (CFP) — Thirteen of the 40 Southern Democrats in the U.S. House have announced that they will not take part in the January 20 inauguration of Donald Trump.
Lawmakers from Florida, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia are among the no-shows. All of the boycotting members represent urban or black-majority districts that were carried by Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s tweets castigating U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, for announcing an inauguration boycott seemed to particularly rankle some of the members opting not to attend; Trump’s reaction was called “repugnant,” “ignorant,” and “insensitive and foolish.”
“We are sending a message to Mr. Trump. Respect, like Pennsylvania Avenue, is a two-way street,” said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, who will be among the no-shows.
However, none of the three other Democrats in Lewis’s own Georgia delegation have joined the boycott. Also not joining so far is U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who, as head of the Democratic National Committee during the presidential campaign, had been a sharp Trump critic.
As for the contention by Trump supporters that the inauguration is a celebration not of him but of the peaceful transfer of power, U.S. Rep. Julian Castro, D-Texas, said, “Every American should respect the office of the presidency and the fact that Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. But winning an election does not mean a man can show contempt for millions of Americans and then expect those very people to celebrate him.”
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Virginia, said Trump’s “behavior and harmful words during and after the campaign have left the country I love with open, bleeding wounds. Instead of binding those wounds, he has poured salt on them. Instead of unifying us, he has reveled in driving wedges between us.”
Trump won 108 of the 154 congressional districts across the South in the November election; none of them are represented by Democrats.
Lawmakers boycotting the inaugural are unlikely to pay a political price, as all but two of them represent districts that Clinton carried with at least 60 percent of the vote. However, U.S. Reps. Darren Soto, D-Florida, and John Yarmuth, D-Kentucky, come from districts where Clinton’s share was just 55 percent.
The list of boycotting Democrats includes:
- John Lewis, D-Atlanta
- John Yarmuth, D-Louisville
- Bennie Thompson, D-Jackson
- Steve Cohen, D-Memphis
- Gerry Connolly, D-Fairfax County
Clinton performed worse in the South than Barack Obama in 2012
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
(CFP) — Prior to the November 8 election, Democrats were publicly hopeful that they might finally be turning back Republican hegemony in the South, to the degree that pro-Hillary Clinton ads were running not only in the battleground states of Florida and North Carolina but also in reliably Republican Georgia and Texas.
Election results show that thinking was not just wishful, it was magical.
In fact, Clinton did comparatively worse in the South than Barack Obama did four years ago (which, oddly, seems to undercut the notion that the South’s resistance to Obama was based on his race.) A look at regional and state-by-state figures in the presidential race shows just how grim election night was for Southerners with a D attached to their name.
Donald Trump carried 53.3 percent of the vote and 13 out of 14 Southern states. That performance was not as good as Mitt Romney’s in 2012, when he came in with 54.4 percent (although Romney only carried 12 states.) However, the performance gap between Trump and Clinton was actually larger than the gap between Romney and Obama because Clinton’s underperformance was even worse.
She took just 42.5 percent of the Southern vote; Obama won 44.3 percent. Some of that was due to a larger third-party vote which, at 4.2 percent, was about 3 points more than it was in 2012. However, the gap between the Republican and Democratic share of the vote went up everywhere except Texas and Georgia and the lone Southern state Clinton carried, Virginia.
A look at raw vote totals shows the degree to which Clinton hemorrhaged Obama supporters.
In Mississippi, Clinton’s raw vote total was nearly 101,000 less than Obama’s in 2012, a huge shift in a state where less than 1.2 million votes were cast. Given that African-Americans play an outsized role in the state’s Democratic base, Clinton’s numbers are a clear sign that black voters did not turn out for her as they did for Obama.
But if Mississippi was bad for Clinton, Appalachia was even worse — down 51,000 votes in Kentucky, 92,000 in Tennessee, and 52,000 votes in West Virginia, where Trump’s percentage of the vote soared 15 points above Romney’s number. Those three states together have 270 counties; she carried exactly five.
In Arkansas, where Clinton was first lady and her husband governor for 10 years, she lost 16,000 votes and managed just 33.6 percent of the vote, 3.3 points lower than Obama’s vote in 2012. At the same time, Trump’s vote went up 34,000 over Romney’s, a net difference of nearly 50,000 votes.
Even in Virginia, which Clinton won, her vote total was 11,000 less than what Obama put up in 2016. She won because Virginia Trump’s vote total came in less than Romney’s by about 59,000 votes.
Meanwhile, as Clinton’s vote was fading, Trump’s was surging, beating 2012 GOP totals in every state except Virginia and Mississippi.
In Florida, where a growing Latino population was supposed to lead Clinton to victory, Trump added 442,000 votes to Romney’s tally, while Clinton added just 245,000 to Obama’s. In North Carolina, he added 69,000; she lost 16,000 in a battleground state she visited repeatedly.
In total across the South, Trump added more than 1 million votes to Romney’s haul; Clinton managed to add 448,000 by offsetting her losses in 11 states with gains in Texas, Florida and Georgia.
This led to some remarkable net vote changes between the two parties — 128,000 in Alabama, 166,000 in Kentucky, 150,000 in Tennessee and 118,000 in West Virginia.
The only glimmer of light at the end of this dark tunnel for Democrats was their improved performance in both Georgia and Texas.
In the presidential race, Democrats closed the gap with Republicans from 8 to 5 points in Georgia and 16 points to 9 points in Texas. Clinton also carried two big suburban counties in Atlanta, Cobb and Gwinnett, that had not gone Democratic in 40 years, along with Fort Bend County in suburban Houston, normally a no-man’s-land for a Democrat.
So perhaps Democratic wistfulness for those two states may not have been entirely misplaced, although that’s cold comfort when Trump carried Florida and North Carolina on his way to the White House.
And if the presidential results were grim, the U.S. Senate races were just as bad. Republicans went eight-for-eight, with a race in Louisiana heading for a December 10 runoff in which Republican State Treasurer John Kennedy is favored to keep the seat in GOP hands.
Democrats didn’t even bother contesting Alabama, Oklahoma or South Carolina; they did recruit credible candidates in the rest of the races, such as Conner Eldridge in Arkansas, Jim Barksdale in Georgia and Jim Gray in Kentucky. But all lost by double-digit margins.
The Democrats’ best shots to pick up GOP-held seats were thought to be in Florida, where U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy was challenging Marco Rubio, and in North Carolina, where Deborah Ross was challenging Richard Burr. Murphy lost by 8 points; Ross, by 7. Both actually underperformed Clinton in their states.
The only good news for Democrats came in races for governor in West Virginia, where Jim Justice kept the office in Democratic hands, and in North Carolina, where Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper appears to have ousted Republican Governor Pat McCrory, although that race may be headed for a recount.
Clinton takes just one Southern state, Virginia
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
Trump won 13 of 14 Southern states, with a combined 167 electoral votes, a better performance than Mitt Romney had in 2012, when he took 12.
Trump’s haul of Southern electoral votes made up 58 percent of his national total.
Clinton’s only Southern victory came in Virginia, where she defeated Trump by a margin of 50-46 percent, thanks to a late vote surge from the Washington, D.C. suburbs.
Trump defeated Clinton by a margin of 49-48 percent in Florida and 51-47 percent in North Carolina.
Across the rest of the South, Trump rolled up double-digit margins, including winning by a whopping 43 points in West Virginia. 36 points in Oklahoma and 30 points in Kentucky.
Trump outperformed Romney’s totals in every Southern state except Georgia and Texas. In Georgia, the GOP result was down 3 points; in Texas, 6 points.
Results of a new Mason-Dixon poll expose Trump’s general election vulnerabilities
JACKSON, Mississippi (CFP) — A new poll shows that if Republicans pick Donald Trump as their nominee, Mississippi could be in play in the general election for the first time in 36 years–a stark illustration of the uphill battle he may face across the country come November.
The Mason-Dixon poll of Mississippi voters showed Trump leading the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, by just 3 points, 46 percent to 43 percent, with 11 percent undecided. That is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent, which means that, statistically speaking, Trump and Clinton are in a tie.
The last time Mississippi was in play in a general election was in 1980, when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter by less than 2 points. The last Democrat to carry Mississippi was Carter in 1976.
How rare is it for a Democratic nominee to carry Mississippi? In the last 60 years, it has happened exactly twice, in 1956 and 1976. And in the last four elections, the Republican candidate has won by an average of 15 points.
The poll results are likely to add fuel to arguments by Cruz and Kasich that Trump would be a general election disaster for the GOP. Cruz leads Clinton in a general election match-up 51 percent to 40 percent; Kasich does even better, 52 percent to 37 percent.
Clinton holds an astounding 90-point lead among African-American voters, who make up a third of the Mississippi electorate. A mere 3 percent of black voters said they support Trump.
Clinton also has an 8-point lead among women and is taking a 15 percent share of Republican women.
And while Trump pulls only 8 percent of Democrats, the poll showed Clinton winning 11 percent of Republicans. Self-identified independents broke for Trump 49 percent to 37 percent.
The poll also showed that while both Clinton and Trump have high negatives among voters in the Magnolia State, Trump was viewed slightly more unfavorably. The difference between his favorable and unfavorable ratings was 11 points; hers was 8.
The poll of 625 registered Mississippi voters was conducted March 28-30. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage votes, which means there is a 95 percent probability that the actual result if all voters were surveyed would fall within a range 4 points above and below the reported figure.
Marco Rubio has another hard night, finishing last in two contests
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
JACKSON, Mississippi (CFP) — Donald Trump rolled through the Mississippi GOP primary, nearly capturing an outright majority in one of his strongest wins of the primary season.
Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas won the Republican primary in Idaho, notching his sixth win in the GOP presidential contest. But it was another hard night for the other Southerner in the race, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who could finish no better than third in any of the four March 8 contests.
In addition to the Republican primaries in Mississippi and Idaho, Michigan held a primary, and Hawaii had a caucus; Trump won them both.
The only other Democratic contest was in Michigan, where Sanders defeated Clinton in the night’s biggest upset.
In Mississippi, Trump took 47 percent of the vote, compared to 36 percent for Cruz. Rubio managed only a meager 5 percent, coming in fourth behind Governor John Kasich of Ohio.
Buoyed by the Magnolia State’s large African-American vote, Clinton won 83 percent to 17 percent for Sanders
In Michigan Cruz finished second and Rubio fourth. The Florida senator came in third place in Hawaii and Idaho.
Heading into pivotal March 15 contests in Florida and North Carolina, Trump has 458 delegates; Cruz, 359; Rubio, 151; and Kasich, 54. A total of 1,237 delegates are needed to win the nomination.
On the Democratic side, Clinton has 1,221 to 571 for Sanders, with 2,383 needed for the nomination.
Special election will be held to replace the three-term Republican
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com
TUPELO, Mississippi (CFP) — U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee died February 6 after an eight-month battle with brain cancer. He was 56.
His death at his home in Tupelo was announced in a brief statement from his family:
“Congressman Alan Nunnelee has gone home to be with Jesus. He was well loved and will be greatly missed,” the statement said.
Nunnelee, a former state senator, was elected to the House in the Republican wave of 2010, representing the Magnolia State’s 1st District, which takes in the northern and northeastern parts of the state.
Nunnellee was re-elected last November, despite surgery for brain cancer in May that led to a stroke. He was undergoing rehabilitation until January, when the cancer recurred.
Governor Phil Bryant will have 60 days to call a special election to fill Nunnelee’s seat.
2014 was a much better year for Republicans than for reality stars revamped as politicos
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
A congressman man caught kissing. Reality stars trying to remake themselves as politicians. A snowstorm that threatened to torpedo a sitting governor. A top U.S. House leader unceremoniously unseated in a primary. And a flap over a fan during a heated debate.
Those were just some of the strange and unlikely events in Southern politics in 2014, a year that ended with Republicans roaring through the region like Sherman in reverse. Here are some of the memorable moments:
Loose Lips Sink More Than Ships — Republican U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, a married Christian conservative from northeast Louisiana, was caught on videotape passionately kissing a female staffer who was, ahem, not his wife. He refused to resign but decided not to run for re-election. Then, he changed his mind and ran again, with his wife’s vocal support. But his constituents were less forgiving than the missus, and he finished a distant fourth in the primary.
Snowmageddon — When a January snowstorm paralyzed metro Atlanta, Republican Governor Nathan Deal took the heat for a sluggish state response and his initial attempt to shift the blame elsewhere. But Democratic hopes that this snowy debacle might bury Deal had melted by November, when he was comfortably re-elected.
Taking Aim At Obamacare — Alabama Republican U.S. House candidate Will Brooke posted a YouTube video, entitled “Let’s Do Some Damage,” in which he fired bullets into a copy of the Obamacare bill. The gambit gained him a bit of attention, though, alas, not enough to win the primary in his Birmingham-area district.
Strange Bedfellows — Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani both waded into the Florida governor’s race this year, cutting ads for Democrat Charlie Crist and Republican Rick Scott, respectively. However, their shoes were on the other feet in 2006, when Crist was a Republican (before becoming an independent and then a Democrat.) Back then, it was Crist who enjoyed Giuliani’s support, while Clinton backed his Democratic opponent.
Overheated Debate — Speaking of the Florida governor’s race, a televised debate between Crist and Scott came to an abrupt halt when Crist insisted on putting a small fan at his feet under the podium, in apparent violation of the debate rules. Scott first refused to take the stage until the fan was removed, but he eventually relented — after seven awkward minutes of scrambling by the debate moderators. In the end, Scott won a narrow victory.
Real Mean Politics — Three reality TV stars — American Idol Clay Aiken, former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards and former South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel — all vied for political office this year. But political reality proved harsh, as all three lost badly. However, Aiken is turning his unsuccessful U.S. House campaign in North Carolina into — wait for it — a new reality show.
Biggest Upset — In an outcome that shocked the political world, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia lost his Richmond-area seat to Dave Brat, a little known college professor who ran at Cantor as a Tea Party insurgent. Weep not for Cantor, though. He bounced back with a job on Wall Street.
Worst Campaign — Texas State Senator Wendy Davis tried to parlay her filibuster against a bill restricting abortions in the Lone Star State into the governor’s mansion. But a series of gaffes — including questions about the veracity of her rags-to-riches story as a single trailer-park mom made good — sunk her chances, and she lost by a staggering 20 points.
Weirdest Campaign Appearance — Matt Bevin, who was challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a GOP primary in Kentucky, appeared at a rally hosted by a group that supports legalizing cockfighting. While insisting he didn’t condone cockfighting, Bevin didn’t help himself when he told a radio reporter that the Founder Fathers were “very actively involved” in the blood sport. Perhaps not surprisingly, McConnell won rather handily.
Best Don Quixote Impression — Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel — peeved that he was defeated in a GOP U.S. Senate runoff by crossover votes from Democrats and independents — launched a three-month court fight to overturn the result. Alas, his windmill tilting came to naught, and U.S. Senator Thad Cochran kept the seat.
Best Houdini Impression — Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee faced voters for the first time since lurid details emerged from his bitter 2001 divorce during which he admitted a string of extra-marital affairs and — perhaps even more damaging for an avowed right-to-life lawmaker — encouraging his first wife to have two abortions. However, GOP voters in his district proved surprisingly forgiving, handing DesJarlais a narrow primary victory. He went on to win re-election in November.
If You Can’t Override, Indict — Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted on charges of abuse of power and coercion over his veto of a funding bill for an Austin prosecutor who refused his demand that she resign after being arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit. A defiant Perry vowed to fight the charges, noting that in America, “we settle our political differences at the ballot box,” rather than in criminal court.
Double Dipper — Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul announced he would run for re-election in 2016, even as he is also considering a White House bid. One pesky little problem, though: Kentucky law doesn’t allow somebody to be on the ballot for two offices at once. Paul’s supporters are trying to find a way to work around that technicality.
Democrat Dam Breaks in Upper South — While the general election was grim for Democrats across the South, the news was especially depressing in Arkansas and West Virginia, which had been places where the party of Jackson was still competitive. In Arkansas, Republicans took all seven statewide constitutional offices and every congressional seat for the first time since Reconstruction. In West Virginia, the GOP took all three U.S. House seats and captured control of the state legislature for the first time since 1931.
“D” Is The New Scarlet Letter — Three sitting Southern Democratic U.S. senators — Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana — all went down to defeat, paving the way for Republicans to take control of the Senate. Republicans also took away an open seat in West Virginia that they hadn’t won since 1942.