Friday, June 10, 2011

Pete Perry analyzes Legislative races

Longtime Mississippi Republican insider and Chairman of the Central Committee of the Hinds County Republican Party Pete Perry wrote this analysis for JJ of the upcoming legislative elections. Enjoy.


There has been a lot of talk about “who is being challenged”, “who is running against so-and-so”, etc. So far, I have not seen anyone make an analytical analysis of the 2011 races based upon the qualified candidates from the Democrat and Republican parties.

Most every hack seems to be looking at two main issues: "Can the Republicans/Conservatives take control of the MS House of Representatives?" and "can the Democrats retake the MS Senate?"

Granted, most are focusing on the Speakership of the Mississippi House of Representatives. Since the current division is 55 Republicans and 67 Democrats, and the magic number being 62 for control, many folks in and around the Capitol City are trying to look at what the non-redistricting is going to do to the Mississippi House.

Basic numbers are important. There has been an undue amount of focus on a few ‘surprises’ at the June 1 qualifying date paperwork. But now it’s time to get to the basic underlying facts.

(NOTE: While this will probably not change any numbers in the final analysis, the numbers listed below are based on the certified candidates of the MS Republican Party and the qualified candidates of the MS Democrat Party. At the time of this writing, the Dems had not completed their certification.):

January 2012 will result in a minimum of 41 Democrats and 35 Republicans. Why? Because there are that many seats from each party that are not being contested by the other party. Yes, there are some incumbents that are being challenged within their own party (to be discussed later) but the net result is that either a Dem or a Repub will hold the seat come November 8th.

In the Senate, the minimum results are that the Democrats will occupy at least 11 seats and the Republicans will hold at least 19. Same basis as explained above for the House.

That’s a good look at the first question. While most of the ‘uncontested’ Democrat house seats are currently held by members of the Black Caucus (32 of the 41) the 35 Republican seats that will remain Republican are not surprisingly primarily from the Coast, Pine Belt, NE Jackson and DeSoto Counties. Not a shock there. The same can be said about the comparison numbers in the Senate.

However, in the House, there are the ‘new’ numbers that have come about in the last decade – the Republican numbers of “safe seats” now include the Tupelo and Golden Triangle area; East Central and SE MS seats, and scattering other areas throughout the state that used to be pure yellow-dog democrat seats. Incumbents that have either changed parties or that have moved on to replacements in these areas are now looking at their seats as being Republican in 2012 after this election.

But more interesting are the underlying numbers. Of the House Democrats that are up for re-election, 19 are being challenged by Democrats. Of the Republicans running for reelection, 10 face primary battles. In those districts where it is not established which party will hold come January, 19 Democrats are facing Republican opposition and 16 Republicans are looking at Democrat challengers in November.

On the East Side of the Capitol, in the Senate, five Democrats face primary opposition while six Republicans are challenged in August by other Republicans. More importantly to the 2012 makeup of the body, twelve Democrats face Republicans in November while six Republican seats have a Democrat challenger in the General Election.

Granted, this blog comment is only a numerical analysis of the upcoming primaries, general election, and the possible outcome of the 2011 election. I have made no attempt to measure any of the incumbent strengths/weaknesses or handicap the quality of the challengers. Rather – it is only an attempt to measure the absolutes and the possibilities based on names on the ballots.

But the basic numbers speak for themselves – the Dems are far from holding a majority in the 2012 House with only 41 sure seats. That is a far cry from any previous election year and the ‘safe seats’ of the Caucus provide the large majority of these seats. And with 19 of the 26 needed to hold the Senate, the Republicans hold a commanding lead in the race to control the Senate (without mentioning that the Lt. Governor and Presiding Officer of the Senate is going to be a Republican - with the Democrats failing to even field a candidate.)

The games are on – redistricting is resolved; filing deadline has come and gone. Those incumbents running without opposition are enjoying a lazy day at the beach while all the others – and their challengers – are looking to August 2nd and November 8th with great anticipation.

HOUSE: Dems 41 Repubs 35 Up for grabs 56
SENATE: Dems 11 Repubs 19 Up for grabs 22









9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pete Perry? PETE PERRY? There is no way he knows as much as a consummate insider like Matthony Eichelweiner.

Kingfish said...

Watching Pete and Derrick go at it on Feb 22 at the redistricting meeting was pretty damn funny.

By the way, Derrick Johnson still has not been paid. I can't imagine why.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Pete for your insights and to JJ for providing the venue.

bill said...

Well done, Pete, and very informative. Through all the analysis I've done on the redistricting issue, I never thought to check and see who all was running unopposed. I think the Republicans have a good shot of picking up the House and strengthening their hold on the Senate. Bill Billingsley

bill said...

One additional comment. Check the math - 41 Democrats plus 35 Republicans plus 56 up for grabs equals 132 House seats. Maybe only 46 seats up for grabs? If so, the Republicans or conservative Democrats need to win 28 of them to elect the Speaker. BB

Anonymous said...

Interesting and well done analysis, Pete, but something has bothered me for quite some time.
The decades of one party domination in MS led to corruption and poor governance. I've always seen one party dominance as bad especially when it comes to spending.
When Democrats switched here, they were people who did so to improve their chances of winning state office or responded to change in their districts. My observation is that these were the people who were about winning and personal power. They had not become " enlightened" or " changed". They were willing to speak the new party " buzz" words to get elected.
Now , it appears we are in danger of the parties splitting along racial lines which, IMHO, would be disasterous for our beloved State in the long term.
I know the GOP is trying to recruit non-white candidates but it also seems that quite a few in the rank and file of both parties make that difficult by playing the race card constantly.
I have always preferred a strong two party system where one party can keep the other in check. But, that too seems eroding into a non-cooperation instead.
You remember when Gil and Ted worked things out in the best interest of our State. You remember Gil's very forward thinking plans for transportation that were not part of a " party" line. Any strategy/hope afoot to put good government ahead of party and race?

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Pete Perry from the failed Paradigm Government Relations? One would imagine that being able to not run a two employee company into the ground would be a prerequisite for be published even by a blog.

Horse-sized HUNG Pierre said...

Is this the same Pete Perry from the failed Paradigm Government Relations?

Well, since you are posting anonymously we have no idea how small (and faulty) your Anthony Weiner is ... now do we?

Anonymous said...

Pierre, as Jon Stewart pointed out, if, like Wiener, you have to show or tell about your physical attributes, you are more aptly self named " Hand Solo".

Real males are more interested in the female body than their own and females figure that out in junior high.

And, frankly, most of us are more concerned with wallet size because we admire initiative and hard work and success and the accompanying family security that brings...not because we want gold. If our biological clocks are alarming, we may settle for the self-focused dick, but usually regret it latter.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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