Sunday, September 1, 2019

Bill Crawford: Reeves Strong in Rural Counties

Interesting tidbits from the Republican primary runoff won by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves by a 54% to 46% margin over former Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller:

In 2015, the runoff vote total was 54% of the first primary total. This year that percentage jumped to 87%.

The GOP runoff total of nearly 325,000 votes even topped the nearly 290,000 Democratic vote total in the first primary. Remember, the Republican first primary vote total of nearly 375,000 had topped Democratic primary turnout for the first time

Tate Reeves retained nearly 97% of his 183,000 first primary vote in the runoff. Waller increased his 125,000 vote total by 120% (based on unofficial returns).

Waller once again beat Reeves in his home county, Rankin.

As expected, the real margin in the race came from rural counties. Of the big 12 counties that provide most Republican votes, Reeves carried seven with Waller winning five. The net margin in those counties was 8,622 votes. Reeves won 59 of the other 70 rural counties; Waller 11. That padded Reeves’ margin by another 19,150 votes.

Mississippi Today reported Reeves spent at least $6.2 million of his campaign war chest to get by Waller. In comparison, Waller raised and spent about $1.4 million. The newspaper estimated Reeves’ balance after the primary to be down to about $3 million.

During the waning days of the runoff a skirmish between former and more recent Republican Party chairmen erupted.

Former chairmen Jim Herring, Billy Powell, Mike Retzer, and Clarke Reed castigated more recent chairmen Joe Nosef, Arnie Hederman, and Brad White for promulgating a letter that labeled Waller a Democrat. That’s “reckless and wrong” said the former chairmen. Waller had been endorsed by party leaders and hailed as a conservative when running for the state supreme court.

In his victory speech Reeves moved to try to heal differences. “I am determined to bring this party together in November,” he said. “A lot of good people voted for him (Waller) today, and what I want to say is this: I heard you.”

In March, 31 hospitals located in 30 counties were identified to be at risk of closing. Waller made saving these hospitals a key issue in his campaign. But, Reeves carried 29 of those counties.

Still, Reeves felt the need to tell his victory audience, “If you believe in helping our rural hospitals and doing it in a smart and conservative way, then you need to join our team.”

Last October the Mississippi Office of State Aid Road Construction identified 17 counties with significant bridge closures due to structural deficiencies. Bill Waller made addressing road and bridge problems another key issue in his campaign. But Reeves carried all 17 of these counties.

Still, Reeves told his victory audience, “If you believe we need to fix our roads and keep our economy strong, hear me out.”

Addressing another Waller priority, he added, “If you believe we need to raise teacher pay and balance our budget, come with me,” then concluded, “let’s do it together.”

Reeves will need those Waller voters to join him in November to beat Attorney General Jim Hood, the Democratic nominee.

Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.


Anonymous said...

Never TATER. Never a TATER TOT. Two terms to improve roads. Another tax..the lottery. This man is a train wreck . Never TATER

Anonymous said...

The less you know about about Reeves the more you like him. Just look at the vote from the areas that know him best. Unreal.

PittPanther said...

They don't want their hospitals to remain open, their bridges fixed, or their teachers' pay increased. Simple.

Cynical Sam said...

Don't be hood-winked. Hold your breath and vote for Tater, the lesser of two evils.

Anonymous said...

Waller has proven he is not interested in being a Republican. If he was he would have immediately endorsed Reeves. I thought all along he was, or would prove to be, a RINO. He has shown his True Blue colors. He was in the race only to ensure that a liberal would win the Govenor's office one way or the other. It has backfired on him. Mississippi doesn't need another Ronnie Musgrove. We'll get something much worse if Hood is elected.

Anonymous said...

As the national news attests everyday, the Democratic Party is sadly moving increasingly toward socialism. Do Mississippian want to enhance this alarming movement?
Mississippi being a poor state has relied upon the federal government for a misappropriate amount of federal assistance. America’s future presently rests in the Republican Party. It would be a gross mistake for Mississippi to now abandon its link to the Republican administration. Presently, the worst Republican Governor would be far more advantageous to the future of Mississippi than the best Democratic Governor could possibly be. Like it or not, that is the nature of our present political process.
It is not unusual for riffs to develop during political primary battles. The best course for Mississippi’s future is for the various factions of the Mississippi Republican Party to unite. Republicans need to “bury the hatchet” & “live to fight another day”.

Quandry said...

NOW Tater says he will fix roads. NOW he will save hospitals. NOW he will raise teacher pay. WHAT has he been doing the last 16 years!!! Nothing will change. I dont like Hood, but can’t vote for Tater.

Anonymous said...

"...the lesser of two evils..."

Five simple words (and only seven syllables) that pretty well sum up most Mississippi election contests. Until we (the citizens) do better at the ballot box, we (the state) will not be on, er, a path moving forward. And I'm not a sour-grapes Waller (or Foster) supporter, nor Reeves or Hood supporter, I'm just sick and tired of "the lesser of two evils."

Anonymous said...

As a Waller voter, I will definitely be voting for Hood.

Reeves ran the most negative campaign that I've ever seen. His ads were filled with lies, half-truths, and misinformation. And he will use the same tactics for the general election. In other words, Reeves is a sleaze.

Reeves is in real trouble when he has to spend $6.2 million in a primary rate to defeat another Republican, who did not have statewide name recognition and had never run a statewide race.

Hood should send a thank you note to Waller, because Waller leveled the playing field. Reeves has angered the Waller voters so much that I believe more than half will vote for Hood.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Crawford ‘s election summation verifies my long held suspension of the electorate: most voters have very little knowledge of the issues nor the positions held by various candidates.
I am reminded by a comment by an oil wealthy State Senator from SWMS; “I’ve never lost a vote on how I voted on an issue here in this chamber “.

Anonymous said...

A Vote for Tate Reeves is a Vote for Real Conservative Mississippi Values. The same values that we've held on to for generation after generation.

A Vote for Jim Hood is a vote for the type of degenerate liberalism that exists in places like Alexandria VA, Nashville TN, Austin TX, and all the other places that the capable young people of Mississippi move to as soon as the graduate.

Anonymous said...

I've seen quite a few Reeves signs in rural Madison, Holmes and Yazoo Counties. I've thought about stopping to ask them why they support him. I'm confident not a single damned one of them would recognize him or his picture, much less his philosophy.

Some landowner, large farmer or other employer has told him to put the signs out. Somebody help me understand why. An example is the Hancock empire over in Yazoo County near Bentonia. Reeves signs everywhere. Why?

Of course I'll have to hold my nose and vote republican.

Anonymous said...

I believed Tate eight years ago and voted for him over Billy Hewes. I will not be fooled again by his sudden concern for causes he ignored for two terms.

Anonymous said...

There a lot of democrats posting comments here pretending to be Republicans who voted for Waller. Democrats are by nature liars who will go to any lengths to get their way by deceit.
Do not be misled and fooled by them. Tate Reeves is a conservative Republican and Jim Hood is a liberal democrat.
The choice is yours conservatism or liberalism. VOTE TATE REEVES IN NOVEMBER.

Anonymous said...

Amen 2:44. And Hood is a heck of a lot closer to Ronald Reagan's principles that Reeves. Vote for the person that will get MS off the bottom, not just a brat that is a minion for those that own the swamp.

Anonymous said...

Tater can’t win. Spooner is your next sheriff. Bomgar will go down in flames to Bartley. And I love recaptcha.

Anonymous said...

I live in a very rural area. Tate will ruin this county if he is elected. I will be voting for Hood.

Anonymous said...

Old white people scared of the liberal devil coming to Mississippi. Had a chance to vote for a republican that would try to make things better but succumb to the fear monger.

Anonymous said...

Reeves ran the most negative campaign that I've ever seen.

Then you must be living in a cave without access to the outside world.

Anonymous said...

I was gravely disappointed that Bill Waller did not try to unite the party by endorsing Tate Reeves. That does not speak well for him. It does add credence to the political allegations that Mr. Waller was/is not a true Republican. One may classify him as a RINO at best. It is really sad Mr. Waller deceived so many people. Most would have thought better of him.

Anonymous said...

1.Dissolve political parties,
2. Limit any office to two terms with a four year moratorium on lobbying or running for another office
3. Reverse Citizens United (A corporation is not a person) kill the faceless PAC’s
4. Limit campaign expenditures to $500,000, total and adjust for inflation thereafter
5. Campaign staffers may not be employed in the successful candidate’s administration.

All the sudden politics might not be so attractive.

Of course I’d settle for Lt. Gov being reduced back to a part time job & getting rid of all the “spokesman” positions in state government.

Anonymous said...

If Waller doesn't get squarely behind Reeves he's no different than McDaniel in 2014.

Anonymous said...

3:29 is right. Young people, born and raised in this state, are leaving due to the conditions here. It's SO bad for young people here that they escape to those havens of 'degenerate liberalism'...and never return.

Anonymous said...

Tate is the kid who got beat up in high school and now has some power and wants to make the cool kids pay.. he’s not a true conservative.. he’s a true puppet of the purse strings

Anonymous said...

The special interest concentrated in the metro area are the ones voting for Waller because his whole campaign was based around what the trade associations told him to say. There was no original thinking from Waller, just whatever the Roadbuilders/Asphalt/Dick Hall, Hospital Association, and Josh Gregory told him to say. He didn’t have a clue what their plans did, or the implications it would have on other factors of state government. Tate exposed him on that in the first debate. Give teachers a raise to $40k and eliminate the 4 percent income tax bracket to raise the gas tax? Which mental health facility, university and CJC are you closing?

I thought Reeves could have run a better campaign, but the same people trashing the rural voters above are the ones that have been told no from Reeves on their pet projects and to save their existence. And they are the authors of comments above.

Anonymous said...

4:36 What were your parents most of their lives? Democrats or Republicans?
Were they also liars by nature? Party labels and political characterization are just tools to keep the narrow-minded in line. Politicians will respond to the demands of their constituents, Democrat or Republican, you simply must know how to make them accountable. Live and Learn. Try.

Anonymous said...

A political party is not the Mafia or a damn fraternity. If Waller does not
endorse a man with whom he often disagrees it does not mean he's not a Republican. There have always been Republicans who did not campaign for other Repubs, and there are Dems who do not campaign for other Dems. That is not the test of your party affiliation. His allegiance to a party is not the same as allegiance to some man.

Tate Reeves is not the standard by which Republicans are measured. Is he?

Anonymous said...

Reeves spent 4.3 million dollars to have a DC firm define Mississippi values and prove Waller isn’t a conservative. Why do he or his supporters want Waller’s support so bad? It seems as though a true conservative could run on his own record without the support of a Southern Democrat.

Hell Yeah said...

A vote for Tater is a vote for free frontage roads for all those gated neighborhoods what need one!

Ima Grinnin said...

Imagine 'special session' calls under either Reeves or Hood. But, I'll hold my nose and vote republican just as millions who voted for Trump did.

I don't want to listen to Tater on television for four or eight years, but I can't imagine listening to that pompous, blowfish democrat candidate for the next four or eight years either.

Still, listening to Reeves will be easier on the mind than it's been listening to the current ego-maniac governor.

Anonymous said...

HE has posted yet again, and here 'tis:

PittPanther said...They don't want their hospitals to remain open, their bridges fixed, or their teachers' pay increased. Simple.

Rat-on Pitt. And republican voters are in favor of bombing abortion clinics, poisoning the water in the black community, issuing hoods at white churches, closing all predominantly black schools, firing all black state employees and carpet-bombing Jackson. What else?

Anonymous said...

Has Bill Crawford ever had a real job? Or, did he just inherit his $?

TheClintonscantsuicideusall said...

I believe that if Hood gets the touch from God he will be at the most a proxy Governor. Ed and Barbie Blackmon will pull his strings and run things from the side as they do in Canton. He is in their debt.

Anonymous said...

Tate wins by 7 points. I'll take your money all day long on this one.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Tater will win and will embarrass Mississippi many times.

Anonymous said...

5:57 PM, it definitely was the most negative Republican primary race in Mississippi for governor.

While I don't expect to see Waller endorsing Reeves after the personal attacks on Waller, I do expect to see Hood having campaign commercials with Waller voters now supporting Hood.

Anonymous said...

Think Jindal or Brownback, Mississippi could easily lose 200k people if he stays 8 years.

Anonymous said...


I guess I was watching a different race as Waller had some pretty negative adds also. The three times I heard him speak it was nothing but shots at Reeves and Bryant.

You are right when you say Hood should thank Waller but why when this was the plan the whole time. Anyone who says Waller is a Republican does not know him. His court district is 65% democrat. How in the world do you think he kept this seat? Waller was put up to run by Hoods people, fact.

The Reeves Waller race is over so Waller folks need to stop crying. Waller did not win, thank god, and Reeves did. Now is not the time to allow Hood to get in the Governor's office. If he does the Blackmon's and Scruggs of the world will be the only winners.

Anonymous said...

Personal attacks? Oh please.

Anonymous said...

2:39 PM If we get 8 years of Tate we will lose enough population to have only one congressional seat.

Anonymous said...

So Reeves now acknowledges and abruptly switches support for the SAME three issues that both Waller and Hood have said are plaguing our state? How convenient of him, now that he needs the Waller votes to win. Does Tate have any original plan re: what to do to help our state? Three of the counties where he lives and works overwhelmingly rejected him because they know what he truly is. Think about that before you vote in November. $6.2 million- to trash his opponent by telling lies and then basically adopting the same issues election night. Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Reeves talked about the same issues in the primary, but he didn’t say what the media and trade associations wanted to hear wanted to hear like Waller did.....

Anonymous said...

I don't recall ever voting for a democrat, but...conservatism and 'he's one of us' are simply buzz terms for 'he ain't liberal'.

But, on the other front, Hood has the same plan for Mississippi that Bernie Sanders and Maxine have for America.

Erstwhile Waller/Hood Voters said...

If we get 8 years of Tate we will lose enough population to have only one congressional seat.

The stupidity of those who comment at JJ has no boundaries. Anyone who remotely believes tripe such as the above is equally stupid.

Anonymous said...

Waller focused on the same three issues for his entire campaign, whereas Reeves focused on attacking Waller and saying “I’m with Trump.” Waller was the better candidate (with a specific plan) and better person of the two. Neither candidate really acknowledged that brain drain and population loss (or lack of growth) are major issues affecting Mississippi. For such a hospitable state there is so much division and hate between the two parties. Elections should really be more about which candidate has a better plan for moving the state forward, but people are two focused on sticking with one party or the other. I usually vote republican and voted Waller in the primary, but plan on voting for Hood in the general unless Tate can provide a better and more specific plan for MS besides “I’m with Trump.”

Anonymous said...

... and better person of the two.

So you know them both personally and intimately enough to definitively conclude one is a better person than the other?


Anonymous said...

September 1, 2019 at 1:33 PM and 6:05 PM, it is people like you who have destroyed the Republican Party!!!!! We were the party of outreach! Now your battle cry is RINO! Waller is no liberal, but why in the hell would he endorse Tate after the type of campaign Tate allowed his consultants to run.

And September 1, 2019 at 3:29 PM, "...The same values that we've held on to for generation after generation." NOPE, people like you have narrowed those values to only hold true for a tiny bit of the population. "...degenerate liberalism that exists in places like Alexandria VA, Nashville TN, Austin TX, and all the other places that the capable young people of Mississippi move to as soon as the graduate." Liberal like Nashville that just banned Harry Potter due to the opinion of exorcists??? Our capable young people flee a narrow agenda and opportunity.

September 2, 2019 at 9:50 AM What a reach! The Blackmons have NOTHING over Hood. Get out of Canton every once in a while.

This TRUE Republican is voting for Hood!

Anonymous said...

This TRUE Republican is voting for Hood!

No different than a McDaniel voter in 2014. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

8:37, McDaniel is no true Republican.

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