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Still Solid South? Miss Democrats Could Lose Big During Elections

By Daniel Cherry | Published 02 Aug 2011 12:00am | comments

In less than an hour the polls will be open for Mississippi voters to select their candidates in the primary election. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how residents wanting to pick up a Democratic ballot might find it to be a little light on options.

Attorney General Jim Hood is the only incumbent Democrat running for any statewide office in this election. The Democrats' only contested statewide primary in today's election is for Governor. Mississippi Democratic pundit Jere Nash says it's because resources are getting harder to come by.

"There's not enough money to fund competitive races. It's not a lack of organization, there's just not a lot of money that's available for statewide Democratic campaigns. It's all going to Republicans."

The GOP has gained majorities in state legislatures across Southern states signaling what might be the end of the once solid Democratic South. Republican political analyst Andy Taggert says Democrats aren't running as much because in many races, it's obvious they won't win.

"The numbers are just irrefutable. Democrats can hope in their election, with their best funded campaign, with their best turnout....The question has already been answered on the statewide level, and I think it's only a matter of time at the more local and regional level."

Every seat in the Mississippi Legislature is up for election this year. Dozens of those won't have a Democrat in the race. Marty Wiseman is the Director of the Stennis Institute of Government. He says the Democratic Party needs to acknowledge its problem if it wants to stay in the mix down the road.

"In a state where in my lifetime it seemed like Republicans were illegal. Total flip flop, and I certainly don't blame that on Republicans. They have done what they needed to do. They worked for decades, organized, and now they're bringing it."

The polls are opening up at 7am and will be taking in voters until 7 this evening.

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