Sunday, September 8, 2019

Bill Crawford: What Matters to Voters?

What issues will matter most to voters when choosing Mississippi’s next governor?


Republican nominee Tate Reeves wants to convince voters that his opponent is a tax and spend, anti-Trump liberal. Democratic nominee Jim Hood wants to convince voters that his opponent is a self-serving politician who cares more about corporate cronies than average Mississippians.

It’s going to be that kind of race, with lots of money spent trying to convince voters what’s wrong with the other guy.

But are these negative issues the ones that matter most?

As Sid Salter pointed out, Reeves successfully framed Bill Waller as “too liberal” to take him down in the Republican primary runoff. Salter expects Reeves to “double down” on that same theme against Hood. Indeed, Reeves started out his campaign blasting Hood and only focused on Waller when the runoff became a reality.

While that tactic helped Reeves win the runoff, Waller’s more positive campaign on substantive issues garnered 46% of the vote. Will Reeves’ “too liberal” gambit bring those voters to his side in November?


As Reeves emphasized, Waller’s focus on fixing roads and bridges, increasing teacher pay, and saving hospitals are many of the key issues pushed by Hood. If a lot of Waller Republican voters care most about these issues and go with Hood, Reeves could be in trouble in November. Indeed, early polls showed Hood beating Reeves.

Or will President Donald Trump favoring Reeves be the biggest issue for Mississippi voters? There is no doubt Trump will endorse Reeves. The only question is how many Trump visits and Trump family visits to Mississippi will occur over the next two months.

In this vein, Reeves will try to nationalize the race by highlighting his support for Trump and his policies and playing on Mississippi disdain for national liberals.

In contrast, Hood will try to keep the focus local by using his faith-based oratory to highlight issues important to working men and women and playing on Mississippi esteem for pro-life values.

Indeed, the values issue could be in play too. During the primary Reeves emphasized his support for “Mississippi values” as a key theme. Hood emphasizes Christian values and regularly blends Bible verses into his comments.

Underlying all these issues is one key contrast that has defined these candidates over their careers. Few have been more pro-business than Reeves. Few have been more pro-consumer than Hood. Reeves talks about business opportunity while Hood talks about opportunities for working men and women. Reeves has championed business tax cuts and de-regulation. Hood has championed workplace safety and children’s issues and has proposed cutting sales taxes on groceries.

Then, there is this issue as highlighted by Wyatt Emmerich. “If you hate golf, you probably aren't going to be good at it,” he wrote. “It's as though some Republicans hate government. As a result, they aren't very good at it. Cut, cut, cut may have been good medicine after 120 years of Democratic reign, but the anti-government tilt is tipping too far.

“We need a good, competitive two-party system in Mississippi. This one-party domination deal is for the birds. It allows the entrenched party to loaf.”

Will voters choose Hood, the Democrat, to re-balance government or stick with Reeves, the Republican, to keep things as they are?

Lots of issues for voters to consider.

Crawford is a syndicate columnist from Meridian.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

No state, no state, is as dominated by maintaining the status quo or looking back to the past as Mississippi. At this point, it's the basis of the Bryant-Reeves regime and it has a very good chance to win. Change is scary.

Anonymous said...

12:08 PM—“looking back to the past”—-JJ’s Primos article was totally out of line, uncalled for. It is media coverage such as that that retards MS.
“Change is scary”—- as proven by JJ, the media, local & national, will not let MS progress. MS is the national “whipping boy”. Everybody has to have a minority to beat upon. MS is poor & defenseless. One would think all these do good liberals would help MS as they have rallied for other minorities.

Anonymous said...

I see it as EXACT OPPOSITE—Waller people r the one afraid of change/bein out of control—they’re afraid of Tate cause he’s a TOTAL wild card to them

Anonymous said...

I'll vote for Hood if he gets better hair. That bouffant hairdo with too much hair spray just doesn't do anything for me.

Anonymous said...

Hearing some Republicans are voting for Hood because they are tired of the Republican establishment handpicking the candidates.

Anonymous said...

I am going to vote for Reeves because I don't believe Hood will go against the nation Dem party line. The Dems spend all their time in Congress trying to hurt and impeach Pres Trump. The Dems want more power to force Socialist ideas. Free Medicare for everyone...NEVER....it is not free. Ask someone who is on Medicare. It is far from free.

Anonymous said...

That's odd 8:17 because the establishment was backing the Waller insurgency.

Anonymous said...

The premise of the article is accurate. We tend to vote emotionally. That's what got Lynn Fitch where she is today. Never mind that she's totally unqualified for the office, it was her push to identify herself as Pro-Trump and her opponent at Anti-Flag that pushed her ahead. Pro-Trump and a smiling female captured both the male and female vote. Nothing else mattered.

Likewise, the money spent by 'Reeves' to paint Hood as Pro-Pelosi and Anti-Trump will put him in the mansion. Emotionalism at its worst.

And JJ can continue his march to paint most of us as anti-Jackson racists while demanding the dismantling of PERS and when things get really slow...he can toss in a few more racist things from fifty years ago to stoke the fire. Gotta keep the natives restless.

Anonymous said...

1:05 pm You miss entirely that Mississippi's defensiveness and refusal to acknowledge the mistakes of the past and sincerely act to correct those mistakes is the problem. Excuses and blame shifting just don't replace " We really messed up and will make sure we don't make the same mistakes again".

Not only that, this site is rife with comments that confirm the same attitudes and mythical justifications ( even the FBI couldn't find evidence that Martin Luther King was a communist with years of wire taps and plants) but that old canard found it's way into a comment here), but those who hold on to that foolishness feel very comfortable that they will not be censured or ostracized for airing their vile views. " We were fighting communism" is an attempt to justify " We didn't want blacks to vote or improve their lot in life".

And, between bashing ideas to prosper that have succeeded elsewhere simply because you don't like the person or the person's party that embraced it first and airing every negative thought you have about any person, place or thing in Mississippi , you hurt Mississippi.

Why should anyone come to Mississippi when Mississippians don't tout their state and are quick to criticize everything? Who wants to live in such a negatively charged atmosphere? Who wants to overcome that when other places have a " can do" attitude?

Try focusing on investigating the ideas before you sound off. Accept that people you don't like might be right every now and again about something or know something you don't. Think before you speak or write.

You don't kill negative perceptions by feeding them.

There are plenty of good people with good attitudes trying to make positive changes, but it's clear to outsiders in short order that the those who have profited from the corrupt power structure do not want to risk change. And, it doesn't take much to see that those who have tried to come here get blasted enough to make any profits mediocre compared to how their competitors are doing even in Alabama or Louisiana. Might as well go to a third world country where ignorance and politicians with a hand out will at least get you cheap labor.





Anonymous said...

9:30; You sorta bounced around the atmosphere with that post.

I have no information on whether MLK was a commie, but historical accounts are replete with the fact that he was a womanizer and had multiple liaisons waiting wherever he arrived by plane, train or automobile. And people like you worship him to this day. I don't. His advance crew was comparable to the secret service when a president is scheduled to arrive next week.

Anonymous said...

10:18 your comprehension skills are not up to par...9:30 made perfect sense to me.

Anonymous said...

10:18 Stack the morality of Martin Luther King against 90% of the presidents of this country and MLK has as much right to his place in history as any of them. MLK was investigated and infiltrated as an "enemy" of this country by the FBI and all they found or could materialize was small potatoes. Let some of the nation's political heroes of the past face that same pressure and their reputations would crack. Find something else to crap on.

Anonymous said...

Our next Governor should promote poverty tourism. It's turning a profit in former Soviet block countries.

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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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