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GOP Presidential Candidates Come To Mississippi

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 06 Mar 2012 05:32pm | comments
State GOP chair Joe Nosef.

Mississippi's 40 delegates are up for grabs as the republican candidates for President are turning their attention to the magnolia state. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that three of the four candidates are planning events across the state ahead of next Tuesday's election.

With just a few days before Mississippi voters head to the polls, the republican candidates are under tight pressure to meet voters and lobby for their support.

Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have all made plans to hold at least one campaign event in Mississippi before Tuesday's vote.

It is uncommon for national Republican party primaries to last long enough for Mississippi voters to affect the race, raising the level of interest among Republican voters says state party chair man Joe Nosef.

"Because Mississippi has had recent success from a state standpoint. But that is one of the things that makes this exciting from a national stand point we have got some input too. So I hope it is something we take advantage of as a party," Nosef.

Nosef says the state party is not taking a stand behind any particular candidate in the race.

Mississippi has 40 delegates which will be awarded to candidates according to the proportion of the vote the each candidate wins.

Marty Wiseman, the director of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University, says in a race this close every delegate counts.

"Mississippi has got 40 delegates so that seems like the mother lode. So as long as it stays close and undetermined who the winner is going to be, those are times when Mississippi gets to be a player," Wiseman said.

Wiseman thinks that Newt Gingrich, a former Georgia Representative, holds an edge with Mississippi voters because of his southern background.

Tuesday's primary is open, which means any Mississippi voter can cast a ballot regardless of party affiliation.

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State GOP chair Joe Nosef.


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