Sunday, March 31, 2019

Bill Crawford: What Issues Are Wild Cards in Governor's Race?

Which of the 13 candidates for governor of Mississippi are you for?

Huh? There are 13?

Yep, three Republicans, nine Democrats, and one independent.

As the Associated Press explained, "The top of the ticket for Mississippi's 2019 statewide election could feature the most competitive governor's race since 2003, but a dearth of strong Democratic candidates down the ballot shows the party's continued weakness in Mississippi.

"Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves will be favorites in their respective August 6 primaries, but each will have to get past some serious challengers. Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith is challenging Hood in the Democratic field, along with seven lesser-known candidates (Michael Brown, William Bond Compton Jr., Robert J. Ray, Gregory Wash, Phillip West, Velesha Perkins Williams, and Albert Wilson). On the GOP side, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. and state Rep. Robert Foster of Hernando will try to upset Reeves."

Giving credence the AP's competitiveness assessment, some early polls showed Hood beating Reeves and more recent ones showed Waller close to Reeves despite his late entry. With just over 120 days left until the first August primary, partisan campaigns must determine and kick-off their winning strategies now.

What sort of strategies?


Well, issues, money, name ID, and turnout determine who wins and who loses. Winning candidates uncover the issues that best resonate with likely voters, align themselves with those issues in voters' minds, and motivate those voters to turn out on election day. Money plays a key role in candidates' ability to do these things.

It may sound simple, but it's not. There are thousands of thick books, complex guides, and YouTube videos on how to win elections. But winning candidates are usually those who pick the best campaign managers, develop the best organizations, pick the right issue messages, and raise enough money, not necessarily the most, to implement campaign strategies.

Issues can be unpredictable wild cards even though many key issues are predictable. In the Republican primary you can count on taxes as a top issue, education in the Democratic primary. But, while those are top issues, the differences among party candidates on them may be virtually non-existent. That lets other issues take precedence, issues such as race, character, religion, experience, or specific programs like mental health care, highways, or school choice.

Polls (which cost money) can help candidates select the best issues and guard against risky ones, but can't predict when a new issue or unanticipated nuance to an old issue will pop up.

Opening slogans or statements from candidates can give you a hint on their issue choices (not all are on record yet).

Tate Reeves - Spend less, borrow less, tax less, promises kept. Jim Hood – Putting Mississippi families first. Bill Waller – Improve infrastructure, health care, workforce training and education. Robert Shuler Smith – Trust, experience, and reliability. Robert Foster – Man of faith, farmer, conservative outsider. Velesha Perkins Williams – Healthcare for all, quality education, economic stability. Robert J. Ray – Fix Mississippi's many problems with my Professional Development Process. Albert Wilson – Bring 21st Century jobs and salaries to Mississippi while improving quality of living for all Mississippians not just the privileged few. Big Dave Singletary – Bring prosperity and health to Mississippi citizens.

What's your favorite issue?

Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tate Reeves-Let the machine roll and ride to victory. Jim Hood-be the alternative to the machine without being obnoxious. Bill Waller-Expose the machine's weakness (Tate). Robert Shuler Smith-Bleed Hood. Robert Foster-build name recognition for future. Velesha Perkins Williams-pad resume. Robert J. Ray-get a forum. Albert Wilson-Kill some time. Big Dave Singletary-have a few laughs and take one off bucket list

Looky Y'all - I'm On The Ballot said...

Good Lordy Mercy! Philip West. I haven't heard that joke of a name since he was running for office in Natchez. He was always nothing but a race card waiting to be played.

Obviously all of these clowns on the lower tier of the list simply want to say their name was on the ballot. Ought to be a two thousand dollar printing fee to get on the ballot.

Anonymous said...

I like Waller's lineup. Tater has beat taxes to death. Take Tater, Feel, and Cindy, and send them to Podunk, Ms. If Ms. cant generate enough revenue to cover infrastructure, education, and other fundamental essentials, politicos need to focus on something beside corn and soybean fields. I would like to see sound government.

Anonymous said...

check the campaign finance forms to see why Tate all of a sudden is the poster boy for special needs vouchers for private school. He ate that one up and is making hay all over social media, and he doesn't even answer the phone unless there is a six figure contribution involved. Check the forms.

Anonymous said...

Surely we can do better than Tate Reeves. Arrogant. Power hungry. Trump apologist. Sickening.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that Tate is successfully "making hay" on social media. The comments to any of his posts on any platform are telling. There is a huge swell of contempt for this man. Will it be enough? Time will tell - but it looks more and more like only that 300 he has signed on like him.

He is an egotistical embarrassment, and I cannot wait to vote for someone else. #nevertater

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for Waller and so is everyone I've talked to about it in the past two weeks. Waller is a grown-up and will represent our state well. Tate has demonstrated time and again that he is a petulant child who throws tantrums when he doesn't get his way, and worse, tries to destroy those who don't agree with him. Can you imagine him negotiating with a large company that would be interested in bringing its business to MS? He would torch that bridge before it was even built. Waller is well-reasoned, intelligent, and steady as a rock.

Anonymous said...

Not voting for a Dem. They have become a melting pot for every mis-fit with their hand out or a grievance against our country. If you don't think they will support Hood and he in turn will be beholding to them you are very very naive.

TRS said...

Waller apparently doesn't even have a campaign web site to which I can send some money.
Waller has some serious catching up to do, but one thing is markedly in his favor:
Tate Reeves will still be Tate Reeves everyday until Election Day

Rod Knox said...

Will Waller Jr suffer for Waller Sr's support for racial equality years ago, most notably his efforts to convict DeLaBeckwith for the murder of Medger Evers.

https://www.djournal.com/opinion/waller-s-memoir-reveals-impetus-for-change/article_e7bddf9a-8b28-57cf-af40-e93c3305b983.html

A lot of water has passed under the bridge in the years since but in Mississippi traditions run deep, especially "those" traditions.

Anonymous said...

Voting for Waller. I know Tate, can’t stand Hood Waller has class and exhibits. Professionalism

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for Bill Waller. I've known him and his family for over 50 years. You won't find a finer family who was brought up to respect others. Ever since he was a boy, Bill has been a leader. Compare his resume' with the other candidates. From starting out to obtaining the highest rank in Boy Scouts as an Eagle Scout; serving in the Army and raising to the rank of Brigadier General; being a long term member of First Baptist Church Jackson and being elected by those who know him best to serve as Chairman of the Deacons; to a successful law career then being elected to the state Supreme Court and ultimately becoming Chief Justice; while at the same time being a devoted husband, father, brother and son. He has always displayed discerning and thoughtful judgement and has the ability to get things done while working well with others. He has demonstrated compassion towards his fellow man and wants what is best for the state and its citizens.

Anonymous said...

Waller is an adult. Tate....Well....

Anonymous said...

TRS @ 1:24 PM

Bill Wallers website below.

https://billwallerjr.com/

Anonymous said...

I like Waller. He's more personable than Tate, if that's a requirement, and I'd probably vote for him if he wasn't for welfare expansion and tax increases. Sorry, Bill, but you done lurched too far for me.

Anonymous said...

Waller won't poll on primary day remotely close the level of support he receives from the JJ trolls.

Anonymous said...

Tate cares about conservative policy, and so do I. He's got my vote.

Anonymous said...

Some random thoughts:

The Waller supporters on JJ as well as around the state that I've talked to generally seem to be focused on Waller being "an adult" and/or "not Tate." The Waller supporters mostly _like_ Waller and he has no strong opposition, whereas Tate's supporters are mostly of the "what can Tate do for me?" persuasion and his detractors _REALLY_ don't like him. This is a huge problem for Reeves and there is almost nothing he can do to combat any of it, much less change it. If Tate goes hard after Waller, he will alienate the undecideds and fire up Waller's serious base. Regardless, the primary will be closer than many people think and right now, predictions are little more than wild guesses. If Waller can begin to garner just a little more support and recognition, Tate could easily lose to him.

Robert Shuler Smith is, depending on your perspective, an opportunist or keenly aware of opportunities. Everyone, including Smith, knows there is no - not little, NO - chance he will or can get elected the next governor and only a slim chance he can even survive the primary. So why is he REALLY running? Solely to hurt Hood's chances, which were already weak before Smith entered the race? Not really a lot opportunity in that, although if it were a by-product of him running, it would simply add to the opportunity. He has been promised something and he believes it is a promise on which the offerer(s) can very likely deliver.

Hood is running because he wants to be Governor and he can only realistically run as a Dem (yeah, I know, "thank you, Captain Obvious..."). But as obvious as that sounds, there simply isn't as much Mississippi Machiavellism with Hood as with Tate/MSGOP, although there is certainly some.

The rest of field: it really doesn't matter why any are running because at this point, they don't stand any chance whatsoever. It is politics, so that could change at any time.

Anonymous said...

If Tate goes hard after Waller, he will alienate the undecideds and fire up Waller's serious base.

Well, then, Waller has a very lukewarm base.

Been more than 40 years since Waller Sr. was Governor. To many voters the Waller name sounds familiar but that is about it. The idea that Reeves "could easily lose" if Waller can "garner just a little more support and recognition" is pure folly.

Whut's Inna Name said...

Already beginning to notice the nut-hatches spelling his name as Wallers. Same ignernts who spelled the name of another candidate McDaniels. Can't top Gallo with Mac-Dan-You-Uls though. Standing by for Gallo to mention Bill Wallace.

Anonymous said...

Who will the MS Republican Party support

Anonymous said...

Not liking Tate because he's not personable is one thing.

But I can point out a plethora of things he sh*tted on that could have helped Mississippi.

Rejecting pay raises for teachers and state workers his entire tenure as Lt. Governor. Now that he wants a promotion, he tosses them some grizzle, not even a bone with some meat on it.

Fighting Medicaid expansion. Not only were those benefits that could have benefitted a sh*t load of Mississippi's working poor, but it would have been a job creator as well.

His refusal to invest in public education, but slick sliding money to private schools via school vouchers.

He only represents special interest and not whats best for all of Mississippi.

#NeverTater

Kingfish said...

Why are you bigoted against special needs children?

Plain ol' Catfish said...

@ Kingfish

Nice try buddy. But if you want your kids going to private school, then pay for it out of your own pocket. It's just that simple.

Anonymous said...

"Not liking Tate because he's not personable is one thing.

But I can point out a plethora of things he sh*tted on that could have helped Mississippi."

I would offer that in elections, the "why" doesn't matter as long as a voter has a choice they do like, whether that voter thinks the candidate is "not personable," thinks that the candidate has shown that their views/opinions/actions/votes are in opposition to those of the voter, or any other reason.

Similarly, it is difficult for one candidate to win over a voter who "likes" an opponent, again for whatever reason and as long as there is a choice, and all but impossible if the voter "likes" the opponent and doesn't "like" the candidate attempting the conversion, ala Tate trying to win over Waller supporters in the primary. The real problem for Tate is that most Waller supporters don't like him, but generally, Tate's supporters "like" Waller well enough but support Tate for whatever reason(s). Whether Waller or Tate wins the primary, a significant number of the loser's supporters will support the winner against the Dem, but that doesn't help Tate in the primary.

Anonymous said...

@11:39

The sooner you face the fact that because of our demographics we just don't have the resources to "take care of all of Mississippi" the better off you will be. We have FAR TOO MANY people who can't contribute to taking care of themselves much less somebody else. It is what it is.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to pay for fat people. Don't expand the healthcare budget to cover the stupid destructive behavior of fat people.

Anonymous said...

@ April 1, 2019 at 12:57 PM

I think you misinterpreted what I meant by Medicaid expansion. I am a liberal, I will admit that. I can even meet some Mississippi conservatives in the middle in regards to entitlement programs, nudging people to get jobs and not stay on entitlement programs. I agree with all of that to an extent.

But my gripe with not expanding Medicaid is that it kept the maximum threshold super low. So that anyone making over $15k a year in a job do not qualify. But with Medicaid expansion, it would have helped the working poor in this state immensely because the threshold would have been brought up to $25k a year.

Could you imagine having an assistant manager or a key holder at Dollar General, that would have helped them a lot to have health care? A big chunk of our citizens work for small businesses that cannot afford to give them healthcare as a fringe benefit, Medicaid expansion would have really helped them as well.

Tate Reeves fought Medicaid expansion and funding public education tooth and nail. He only cares about special interest groups and having his ego stroked.


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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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