Sunday, August 11, 2019

Bill Crawford: Will New GOP Voters Make a Difference in Runoff?

Roughly 95,000 more Mississippians voted in the Republican primary this year than four years ago, a 34% increase. This pushed Republican turnout over Democratic turnout for the first time.


These new GOP primary voters could noticeably impact the August 27th runoffs.

So, where did they come from?

Well, not from the big 12 Republican counties that typically dominate primaries.

Comparing 2015 official to 2019 unofficial results, Rankin, DeSoto, Harrison, Madison, Jackson, Hinds, Jones, Lee, Lamar, Forrest, Lauderdale, and Hancock Counties did increase their turnout, but that accounted for only 7% of the 34% total increase. They did provide 53% of the total GOP vote, but this was down from 64% in 2015.

Meanwhile, many rural counties, especially in north Mississippi, increased turnout by some amazing percentages – Quitman, Chickasaw, and Tippah Counties over 700%; Bolivar and Grenada over 500%; Alcorn, Benton, Itawamba, Tishomingo, and Panola over 400%; Union, Franklin, Kemper, Tunica, Prentiss, and Sunflower over 300%; Lawrence, Clay, Wilkinson, Pontotoc, and Yalobusha over 200%. Another 24 counties had increases over 100%.

Only six counties, including a biggie, DeSoto County, saw GOP turnout decline. The others were Pearl River, Oktibbeha, Leflore, Montgomery, and Simpson.

The county with the biggest numerical gain was Alcorn at 5,267 (a 406% gain), followed by Tippah at 4,809 (a 732% gain), and Itawamba at 4,720 (a 439% gain).

Notably, almost half of the total increase came from the 24 north Mississippi counties located on or above Highway 32.
It is hard to estimate what impact this turnout shift will have on the runoffs since statewide GOP runoffs seldom occur. There were none in 2015 and only one in 2011.

This year there will be two, Bill Waller vs. Tate Reeves for governor and Andy Taggart vs. Lynn Fitch for attorney general.

Also drawing GOP voters’ attention in north Mississippi will be a runoff for state transportation commissioner between John Caldwell and Geoffrey Yoste. Nine senate and nine house races will also have runoffs.

In 2011, the GOP runoffs were for state treasurer, between Lynn Fitch and Lee Yancey, and six senate races. The runoff drew 156,006 votes. About 71% of these votes, 110,000, came from the big 12 counties.
The surge in GOP voter turnout in rural counties suggests the big 12's impact will be appreciably reduced this time around.

The 2011 turnout was about 54% of the 287,446 turnout in the first primary. Based on that percentage projected turnout this year would be 202,000 votes. In such case it would take 101,001 votes to win the runoff.

Reeves got 182,989 in the first while Waller got 124,707. Robert Foster, who forced the runoff, got 66,441. In the attorney general primary Fitch got 160,661, Taggart 103,643, and Mark Baker 98,397.

Whose voters will stick and turn back out on August 27th? Will Foster's and Baker’s voters turn out and for whom?

Reeves with his mountain of money and rural support – 43 of the 56 counties with over 100% increase in turnout gave him clear majorities – remains the favorite as does Fitch.

But Waller has the momentum, coming from nowhere to a runoff in seven months plus clobbering Reeves by 20 points in his home county (Rankin). Taggart also started late and he beat Fitch by 14 points their home county (Madison).

How new GOP primary voters respond will help determine the winners.


Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

More than a few Madison and Rankin county Republicans of the " baby boomer" generation have retired to Oxford.
There's an element of " any one but Reeves".
Many Democrats who aren't Quixotic and don't want to waste their vote, vote in the Republican primary because they know a Republican is guaranteed to win their gerrymandered district. They will vote Republican again in November but not for Governor and perhaps not for AG.

Anonymous said...

Yada Yada. Is all of this meaningless? Yep.

Bennie Thompson will still be in office until the coroner makes an official statement.

Anybody but Tater (well, except Hood).

Andy is the only real attorney in the AG race.

Hayes Dent knows what he's doing. None of the Dem candidates do.

Jay Hughes is a democrat. That's all you need to remember.

Anonymous said...

Tate is not likable. But he wins. And he can spend several million dollars hammering home the fact that Waller and Hood are one in the same (which they are).

Governor is a figure head mostly, with the power to veto bad legislation. If you want Obamacare expanded in Mississippi, then don't vote for Tate. That's really the billion dollar question.

Anonymous said...

Lot's of 'fake news' and outright outlandish rhetoric posted at 10:15.

If you want Haley-Barbour-Lite vote for Tater. Tater has ZERO infrastructure improvement plan and is not a friend of education. He has no concern for rural hospitals in this state. Otherwise, he simply wants to be gubnah. That's the total package, plus he's not likeable. Vote Reeves if that's your bag too.

If you want to see hundreds of democrat-entitlement bills waste time and fail in the Senate, vote for Hood. His ideas of legislation will never make it to his desk.

CPD21 said...

Should be added that if you want the Blackmon's running the state vote for Hood.

Anonymous said...

Crawford points out some interesting statistics and numbers bUT fails to give some detail as to why the large increase in these counties - particurly those in NE MS. This year those counties saw a tremendous change in their local officials with many changing from running as Democrats for Sheriff, Supervisor, Clerk, etc to running either as a Republican or as an Independent.

Most of those counties did not have a contested race for local office in the Democratic Primary - freeing up those voters to cast their primary ballot where they tend to vote in General Electons for Statewide and Federal nominees.

Yes, it makes it more interesting to see what will happen in the runoff election without an historic base to use in predicting. But with Reeves only 4000 votes short of a majority, clearly his job us to get his voters back to the polls in three weeks. And considering that he carried counties all over the state (74 to Waller's 6) his job is much easier.

Anonymous said...

Where Mississippi really wins is Delbert going in as Lt Governor. He can set the agenda. The governor race is just a figurehead position. Lt Gov is where it's at. Delbert will be light years better than Tater tot. And MS will be better off for it.

Anonymous said...

The never Tate crowd is smaller than I expected. Startling that Waller carried only 6 counties. I figured Tate would win more rural, less educated, counties, but I’m surprised he won more educated, more developed counties such as the Coastal Counties, Forrest, etc. It’s apparent Tate has a lot of closet voters. I live in Harrison and have heard very few people openly support him, but he crushed Waller here. I know a run off may often favor the second place guy and the third place guy’s voters often fall to the second, but I just don’t see how Waller can make up such a huge deficit when there are very few areas in the state that he beat Tate.

Anonymous said...

The "well-educated" voters you refer to by referencing the Metro area and Oxford also include the following:

in the metro area, a large number of state government employees, folks that want more government spending for their programs - something Waller has proposed and Reeves has opposed. If you want more government employees being paid for their particular issue, vote Waller. If you want a controlled government with responsible spending vote Reeves. Its not a question of the education level, its that the metro has the government workers (and the lobbyists that Waller claims are in Reeves pocket, but that Reeves doesn't give them what they want so that their clients pay them more.)

As to Oxford, beside it being the home of the Waller clan, (not necessarily a misspelling) it is also the bastion of liberalism in the state with the University. Speaks for itself.

Hinds County Republican Primary Voter said...

Funny that Bill didn't mention in his column about "NEW GOP Voters" his favorite candidate (or at least the one running against Bill's least favored candidate) Bill Waller. Since this is the first time Waller has seen a Republican primary ballot, he should be included in the list of new Republican voters.

Anonymous said...

It is correct that the Lt. Gov. has the power and it looks as if that will be Hosemann, which is great.

However, the face of Mississippi should not be some overweight spoiled brat. Mississippians are growing weary of the divisiveness and pandering politics that Reeves pushes.

Waller wins the run-off.

Anonymous said...

Come on Lynn, step up and agree to debate Andy...
Let the voters evaluate you both and your ability to serve as Mississippi’s next Attorney General!

Anonymous said...

1:51, 90% of the people you described probably voted in the Democratic primary.

Anonymous said...

12:09 - Waller did very well in the Hattiesburg precincts in Forrest. Reeves dominated the Petal/rural precincts and thus won the country narrowly.

Anonymous said...

Mississippians are growing weary of the divisiveness and pandering politics that Reeves pushes.

According to you? Your repeated deposits here of unsupported sweeping generalizations are boring.

Anonymous said...

In odor for Waller to win he has to get all the votes he got the first time and get all of Fosters votes. Not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Waller wins the runoff. If he falls short Hood is next Governor. The majority of the voters in this state do not want Tate as Governor.

Anonymous said...

Waller has no chance, but Hood can beat Tater. We are still 50th because of politicians like Tater.

Anonymous said...

Arguing the next AG needs to be a "real lawyer" (whatever that means) is like arguing the CEO of McDonald's needs to be really good at making hamburgers.

Anonymous said...

9:23 - On the contrary. Nor does the McDonald's CEO need a degree in customer flow, ketchup dispensing and bathroom attractiveness.

But it would be helpful if the upper management level at Mickey Ds had actually labored in the hamburger trenches.

Anonymous said...

"In odor for Waller to win..." 5:59 PM

You really screwed that one up. The ODOR is actually coming from a mushy item in the Tater Bin. Time to throw it out!

Anonymous said...

"Arguing the next AG needs to be a "real lawyer" (whatever that means) is like arguing the CEO of McDonald's needs to be really good at making hamburgers."

"But it would be helpful if the upper management level at Mickey Ds had actually labored in the hamburger trenches."

Um, well, the current and previous 2 CEOs of McDonald's did begin their careers with the company at much lower level positions, including at the individual location level. In fact, the unfortunate-yet-increasing trend of outrageously-paid, outsider "gun-for-hire" CEO is beginning to show its weaknesses - look no further than Marvin Ellison (first JCP, now Lowe's), Carly Fiorina (HP) and John Sculley (Apple, and one would think Jobs would known better) for examples of what can happen when the CEO doesn't have any sort of personal "up from the ranks" viewpoint about the product, industry or even the company he or she now oversees.

So, yeah, an AG who has some real-world lawyering under her or his belt ain't exactly a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

And the first thing the new CEO at Lowe's did was to eliminate all the Human Resources Manager positions throughout the company. They'll fire him after they begin getting union organizing activity, EEO complaint, Sexual Harassment charges, etc, all of which a competent on-site HR professional is tasked with preventing.

Any HR manager worth his/her salt pays for his own salary by preventing lawsuits and employment-law violation charges.

Anonymous said...

@ August 11, 2019 at 8:49 AM

That's a spot-on assessment. With the Republican supermajority, you are relatively in a bind if you are not a Republican, but yet they are making all the decisions. So you are forced to get involved with the politics and vote for the lesser of two evils.

Whoever didn't kiss Trumps a** in their campaign, that's who I voted for in the Republican Primary.

Anonymous said...

If you want more government employees being paid for their particular issue, vote Waller. If you want a controlled government with responsible spending vote Reeves. Its not a question of the education level, its that the metro has the government workers (and the lobbyists that Waller claims are in Reeves pocket, but that Reeves doesn't give them what they want so that their clients pay them more.)

Ha! Just because he doesn't want to "spend" money does not mean he's fiscally responsible as a legislator. Tater finds ways to stream cash to his supporters - whether it's via nudging appropriation bills out of committees, tax cuts, or contracts.

Reeves didn't get $7 million in his war chest simply from rich Mississippians. He is a corporate shill and the money he has built up is proof.

Anonymous said...

Tater finds ways to stream cash to his supporters - whether it's via nudging appropriation bills out of committees, tax cuts, or contracts.

Parroted Compretta talking points.

Anonymous said...

9:44

Say what you want but the facts are that Waller wants to spend money we do not have. Making all these promises that he can't keep. Waller was put up to run by Bobby Moak and the dems. This way the dems have two chances to win. Sorry not going to happen Bobby. Keep your a#$ down in Bougue Chitto.

Anonymous said...

9:23 and 11:39 pm Your analogies are the equivalent of comparing apples to oranges.
The AG needs to be well versed in the law to decide which legal cases have enough merit to be filed. Unless , of course, you wish to waste our tax dollars and not get any rulings in our favor.
He needs to know which lawyers in his office have to ability to best litigate specific cases and which are best to write the legal documents.

Perhaps , you don't want Generals who served in the ranks and who know anything about weapons on the Chiefs of Staff.

I can see that having actual experience and training in a field seems to matter little in political appointments or elections these days, but legal knowledge and competence is actually valuable if we want our legal system to protect us against criminals. I guess it isn't if you just want people to take orders from the top without regard to anything other than personal or party loyalty.

Anonymous said...

Bobby Moak lives in Annandale.

Anonymous said...

August 12, 2019 at 10:48 AM

Mississippi can afford the ACA expansion, especially with the feds covering 90% of the cost. The first 5 years the feds will cover 95% of the cost.

After the 5-year implementation, Mississippi will have the revenues to cover the 10% cost.

Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia are southern Republican-led states that have all expanded Medicaid.

Our next-door neighbors in Louisiana are toting 19,000 new jobs based on the Medicaid expansion.

But yet again, Mississippi misses the mark and lets Louisiana beat them to the punch, yet again on an economic booster for the state's economy.

Once Louisiana expanded Medicaid, they went from a $2 billion budget deficit created by Tea Party darling Bobby Jindal (the Indian version of Tate Reeves) who would not expand Medicaid, to a $300 million budget surplus in 2019. Those numbers are factual and they have their fiscal house back in order.

You can spin that "Mississippi can't afford it line" to the next buyer. But Tate Reeves is full of sh*t when he says the state can't afford it!

It's A Job For A REAL Attorney said...

10:50 - I'm having a difficult time understanding your post, as to point. I believe you singled me out. Indeed I do believe that the Attorney General of this state must have actual litigation experience, not simply bonds, a few bank charters, wills and a divorce or two. Those are the rough equivalent of mortgage closings.

This is not the job for a light weight who will simply sit on a throne and decide to which staff-member a potential case should be tossed. Only one person in the contest has that experience. The other will refuse to debate. On the slim chance that debates ARE held, I hope Taggart shows up in a red suit.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone would argue our best and brightest from the legal profession end up as AG, but we can at least vote against business as usual try to get off of the bottom. Taggart and Hood have my vote. I just wish Taggart hadn't argued to use outside counsel for cases he didn't have the experience to handle. How many attorneys are over there anyway?

Anonymous said...

Do people really believe that we can expand Medicare at no cost to the state?
Not going to happen and as far as other states who have done this I understand they are wishing they had not. Cost is a lot more than they expected.
Louisiana's surplus has nothing to do with this expansion. Keep telling yourself that this will work and then maybe it will come true, not.

Anonymous said...

@ August 12, 2019 at 3:01 PM

Do people really believe that we can expand Medicare at no cost to the state? Not going to happen and as far as other states who have done this I understand they are wishing they had not. Cost is a lot more than they expected. Louisiana's surplus has nothing to do with this expansion. Keep telling yourself that this will work and then maybe it will come true, not.

Once again, Mississippi will have to cover 5% of the cost for the first 5 years, the feds will cover the rest of the cost, which is 95%. Then after the first 5 years, Mississippi will be responsible for 10% and the Feds will cover the remaining 90%.

Bobby Jindal made the argument Louisiana could not afford Medicaid expansion. When he took office Louisiana had a $1 billion dollar budget surplus. When he left office Louisiana's budget was $1.6 billion in the hole.

Here it is 3 years later, they've expanded Medicaid and the state has a budget surplus.

It's a weak argument to say the state can't afford it. For a state like Mississippi that is hurting for jobs with liveable wages, Medicaid expansion would provide a major boost to the state's economy as well as give affordable healthcare to 300,000 Mississippians that work in jobs that do not provide health insurance, but their salaries are barely above the poverty threshold. Its a win/win for Mississippi to expand the ACA here

https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/14/hospitals-pitch-medicaid-coverage-expansion-reform-plan-mississippi-cares/1193467001/#

OhNoMrBill said...

There you go @5:10 PM!!! Tell 'em all this high-minded (and insanely vague) stuff about goodness and jobs and the like but do everything you can to avoid telling people where you'd find the money in the actual budget to pay for the expansion. AAAnnnnnnddddd whatever you do, do not, DO NOT, come clean that the ONLY way to get it all paid for is to increase taxes.

That's the Bill Waller plan and he's sticking with it!!!!

Anonymous said...

"I just wish Taggart hadn't argued to use outside counsel for cases he didn't have the experience to handle. How many attorneys are over there anyway? August 12, 2019 at 2:28 PM"

Ah, it would appear you are confused.

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