Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Sid Salter: Presley, Dems Can't Turn Media Hype, Campaign Cash into Votes

Incumbent Democratic Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley was arguably the most formidable gubernatorial nominee of his party in the last three decades. But in the Nov. 7 Mississippi general election, he joined the extensive list of failed Mississippi Democratic gubernatorial contenders. 

Presley ran an outstanding campaign that was flush with almost $12 million in campaign contributions. He worked hard. His populist political speaking skills are unmatched in the state, and he matched incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves in TV ads, social media posts and other digital media. 

For all the media hype surrounding his bid for the Governor’s Mansion at the state and national level, Presley ran what turned out to be a rather average campaign taking about 47 % of the vote against Reeves. History bears that out. 

In 1987, Democrat Ray Mabus took 53.44% to 46.56% for Republican Jack Reed Sr. Mabus is the last Mississippi Democrat to be elected governor with over 50% of the vote. Ronnie Musgrove in 1999 was the last Democrat elected governor of Mississippi – winning a plurality of 49.6% of the vote against GOP nominee Mike Parker with 48.5% of the vote with the rest split between two minor party candidates. 

In 1991, Mabus lost to Republican Kirk Fordice with 47.59 % of the vote. 1995 saw Democrat Dick Molpus lose to Fordice with 44.44 %. Again, Musgrove won in 1999 with a 49.6 % plurality but lost to Republican Haley Barbour in 2003 with 45.8 %. Democrat John Arthur Eaves Jr. lost to Barbour in 2007 with 42.1% 

In 2011 and 2015, Republican Phil Bryant held his Democratic challengers to 39 % and 32.38 % respectively. In 2019, Reeves defeated Democrat Jim Hood 51.91% to 46.83% with a 1.25% split between two minor party candidates. 

From the 1991 through the 2023 Mississippi gubernatorial general elections, Democratic nominees have earned an average of 43.82 % of the vote. Presley bested that average but not appreciably so. To be fair, independent Gwendolyn Gray’s presence on the ballot took 1.4 % likely from Presley.  

So where do the 2023 gubernatorial election results leave Mississippi? Republicans control all eight statewide elective positions, super-majorities in both houses of the Mississippi Legislature and five of the six congressional posts on Capitol Hill. While outright Medicaid expansion may still be a heavy lift in Jackson, the Legislature does appear open to providing help for the state’s rural hospitals and to policies that will bolster healthcare access for the working poor in the state.  

Reeves will continue to appoint the leadership of the state agency bureaucracy and fill the judicial vacancies. Few in state history have more practical experience in state government – two terms each as state treasurer, lieutenant governor, and now governor – than Reeves.  

In both his gubernatorial bids, Reeves held his ground against the strongest Democrats available.  

For Mississippi Democrats, the path forward is less certain. In Hood and Presley, the party put before the electorate what many of them believed were the best two available candidates. Hood was elected attorney general statewide four times before making his bid. Presley had historic financial resources available to him in his bid to go along with his retail political skills. 

Where do state Democrats go from here? And will out-of-state groups invest that much money in a Democratic gubernatorial bid in 2027? 

Ironically, Reeves in 2019 and 2023 dominated in the Northeast Mississippi region that is home to both Presley and Hood. Heavily Democratic Hinds County, the state’s most populous county, was supposed to have been Presley’s stronghold. Hinds County, however, failed to provide sufficient ballots to meet the demand of the county’s voters. 

But in the final analysis, it would seem that the Presley camp failed to devise and execute a discernible and effective political ground game to get their voters to the polls. Canvasing, direct mail, microtargeting, but in rural states like Mississippi that’s mostly knocking on doors. 

Turnout was down overall on Nov. 7 and that was ultimately the story of the race. Reeves and the GOP effectively turned out their vote while Presley and the Democrats did not.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at



Anonymous said...

Articles continue to state that voter turnout was down, but I don't believe I've seen any figures showing the percentage of voters that actually voted. Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

He might have won, had he an "I" and not the "D"

People are wise to the lies, doublestandards and hypocrisy of the Dem platform, not to mention the overt gaslighting EVERY dem politician is doing daily.

Conservatives are getting wise about the inaction of the GOP and enabling of the liberal law standard now, removing all impeachments off the table was the WORST choice the GOP could make.
Lipservice won't cut it, GOP. All you've done is prove the Uniparty theory correct.

Anonymous said...

I got paid $200 to campaign for Presley. Still voted for Tate, however.

Anonymous said...

Maybe what’s left of the Democrat Party in Mississippi should consider making it clear that it is not just the State branch of the national party.

Anonymous said...

8:40 AM is correct, Presley might have won as an Independent.

Because people are sick of Democrats. Democrats have become the evil, liar, make people mad, stir up hate, crime party - with no morals - as they sit back in silence while cities are destroyed by their party, and children and killed, as long as those controlling those cities vote for them in November.

It’s beyond pathetic and it is hard to imagine how they sleep at night. How many of the Democrat names in Salter’s article have the guts to even live in the city of Jackson without a gate protecting them – or worse yet, are too chicken s__t to live in their Democrat controlled cities at all, but instead run off to safe areas not controlled by their own party?

All while innocent little children are murdered or killed by stray bullets. It is hard to image how our country became so uncaring of and willing to sacrifice the poor – just for votes.

Anonymous said...

Wow....8:41 am let's us know he's dishonest.

The fact is that it's impossible now for a Democrat to win a state wide election. And, it's becoming impossible with gerrymandering to succeed in legislative elections nationwide.

Every single one of our Founders feared and wrote about the dangers of "political factions" and a dominant religious movement. They understood how that played a role in the demise of democracies and republics. They also understood greed and power. They hoped we'd also understand and remember history.

And,Lord knows many of our WWII veterans saw the dangers of The Big Lie and targeting an entire group of citizens as being " enemies" and another group as " superior" dissolved into cruelty and brutality.

And, for female readers, every single brutal,terrorist regime in history subjugated women. Iran is your picture postcard of a country that once valued its women and educated them. Now they are being killed for not covering enough of their hair. And, for you younger women in this country that are now doctors and lawyers and work in business, that will go away. We've only had the vote since 1920 and already the notion of you being good enough to be near a pulpit is going away. History has seen this before.

I know you have this notion that likely, as for thankfully true for me,that based on your husband's love and respect and care for you will protect you forever. It won't be there if he dies and you have no other male to step in to protect you from a government that doesn't recognize your value other than whatever assets they can take away and give to a male. As it is, divorce has taken many women from financially security to poverty. And, our laws are making it harder to support children of divorce not easier and if you have a job, there's no guarantee you won't pay the same child support even if your earnings and assets are less in value.

It's the ugly reality of history every single time a religion or political faction values men over women. Remember, Hitler's idea was women who were the perfect genetic German became baby factories and ended up being repeated raped by German officers to insure a "perfect" German. Some religions want to "create" followers by having you breed until it kills you and then another will take you place.

I cannot believe that the things my female ancestors and I worked to secure for us are being taken for granted and so easily thrown away. You too are watching men, less qualified, less intelligent and less talented take away your worth.

Tip O’Neill said...

Sid is writing this dissertation with tears in his eyes knowing in his heart the rest of his lifetime there will only be republicans sitting in the highest elected offices in the state of Mississippi. Some may be not as conservative as others but they will all have a (R) by the name. Cry Sid Cry. R’s rule.

Anonymous said...

Reminded me a lot of the Cliff Finch campaign. Friend of those who look to the government for help.

Anonymous said...

Yep, ole Sid is a closet democrat for sure, he would have loved to have seen the likes of beef plant Billy McCoy in the governor's chair.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't vote for one of my own children if they were running and had a D behind their name. The whole party is full of hatred for this country and demented on to of that. For the record I feel as strongly about Trump for different reasons and voted for Reeves IN SPITE OF Trump's endorsement, definitely because of it.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Presley got bad advice in making that commercial where he says "I oppose sex change operations for children." The fact that he even had to say that put the spotlight on why he had to say that - the people funding his campaign do believe in that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

People today are not a stupid as Presley thinks, in the end if you take the pipers money, you're going to dance to the pipers music.

Anonymous said...

Reading some of the Facebook-ish comments above, replete with historical mishmash and error, saddens me. The one concept one of the commenters does have correct (even if many of the "facts" alleged are nonsense) is the extreme oddness of Western college women protesting to "Free Palestine." In the "Palestine" and entire Muslim world (which they hope to be the entire world) envisioned by the radical Islamists such as Hamas and their backers, especially the current leadership in Iran, those protesters would not be in college, wearing anything but chadors, hijabs, burqi, etc., or doing many or most of the other things modern (western) women do without thought, hesitation, or life-altering consequence. This is not to disparage Muslim women or any other person who CHOOSES to live their lives by whatever personal choices they wish - an Iranian woman is just as entitled to want to wear a chador as you are to want to wear a tank top and shorts. But are any of these women protesters prepared to be severely punished for wearing even loose khakis and a shapeless long-sleeve sweater? For driving? For having a glass of wine? For not being subservient to all men? And for the men, are they prepared to live the life of a strictly-observant man? No more Buds or buds, boys.

The bottom line is that western women supporting radical Islamist interests is exactly like naive Jews who told themselves and those around them that the Nazis weren't all THAT bad. Until they were even worse than that. As someone who grew up in aftermath of WWII and during the other aspects of these issues, I can tell you from personal knowledge that radical ideas about such things is ALWAYS that bad. Much like those who scream for "justice," be very careful of that for which you protest and demand - you could find yourself getting precisely what you ask for. And like justice, many, or in the western world nearly all, will not be able to deal with or even handle getting either.

Kingfish said...

He's a Democrat? Bill Minor, foaming at the mouth, used to call him a right wing Republican.

Anonymous said...

So Sid puts front and center that Presley got $12M for his campaign. Nary a word/estimate on how much of that money came from out of state interests trying to purchase the governorship.

Anonymous said...

He’s has effectively defeated every one of his opponents with the exact same strategy. Continuously, calling them all liberals. Including his Republican counterpart, Bill Waller Junior. And Mississippi falls forward every single time. But on the flipside, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Kingfish said...

Sure did mention how out of state money funded McDaniel.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi deserves the worst and Tate is the right candidate to deliver that for us.

Anonymous said...

It was definitely not a loss. Much of what Brandon said about Tate was true. How much do you want to bet they’re going to do something about Medicaid,restore the ballot initiative process this session, their best to bury the TANF
scandal. Tate worked harder for his win than he ever has in his political career.

Anonymous said...

If he run as an independent, he would’ve never raise the kind of money needed to win. It was a lose-lose. He should have a run in 2019 instead of Hood when the seat was open and not challenged and incumbent. Does puzzled me, however, how he lost his home turf.

Anonymous said...

Stamps just beat an incumbent Republican with no money. I don’t buy a Democrat can’t win crap.

Anonymous said...

The US reached its apex about 1919 to 1920. It’s been an ever steepening downhill slide since.

Anonymous said...

Stamps won because the Central District of the PSC is 54% black. Presley got out enough of the black voters to vote for him, thus they voted democrat in all races. Thus Bailey got beat.

Kingfish said...

I know a lot of Republicans who voted for Stamps. Taking Sierra Club money didn't help Bailey at all. Hell, Phil Fisher endorsed him.

Anonymous said...

Much of BP’s 2024 was lifted word for word from Musgrove’s US Senate campaign against Wicker.

Also: will anyone now prosecute BP for the donations from the solar energy companies? It seems to be an end-run around MS election laws.

Krusatyr said...

Democrats, including Biden and Lumumba, showed the world and MS how morally corrupt and inept they are. Everybody knows streets full of murder, sewer, garbage and potholes, as well as spending extra for life's necessities like mortgage, rent, gas and groceries, not to mention a delige of perverse grooming and gendermania in the schools, are all Democrat showpieces that no amount of Pressley's lies can hide.

Anonymous said...

The state is too stupid to vote anything other than the Gaslighting Obstruction Party. They’re good at spewing shit on Fox News and the Mississippi majority lap that shit up without one iota of thought. Doesn’t matter that Fox News had to pay almost a BILLION dollars for lying about voting machines and the supposed stolen election. We’ll stay this way because the unlucky smart few that are born here eventually leave, and so the state says the same shit hole and will elect the next taturd tott to steal more welfare funds because they’re more deserving than the “minority” it’s meant for. Stay last, Mississippi. At least the traffic isn’t bad.

Anonymous said...

November 15, 2023 at 9:37 AM, I feel so sorry for you, you should move to America. Women don't have those problems here.

November 15, 2023 at 6:20 PM, if somehow you could save enough money and move, maybe you would be happier some place else.

Mississippi has its problems, no doubt, but a wacked out democrat will only bring more.

Anonymous said...

6:20 Please see your physician. Thorzine is effective.

Anonymous said...

"The US reached its apex about 1919 to 1920. It’s been an ever steepening downhill slide since. "

The vets who sacrificed their lives to beat Hitler and Tojo might take exception to that statement, but you go on believing whatever makes the bad voices leave you alone.

Anonymous said...

Good point 3:13. When is Tate Reeves or Lynn Fitch going to prosecute Brandon for the money from the solar companies.

Or are they just empty suits, saying one thing and doing no thing.

Others have gone to jail. Brandon should also.

Anonymous said...

How much campaign money is still in Presley's account?

He's almost as 'set' as a 'contract buy-out' coach.

Bailey Harbor said...

Presley would not have raised enough money for one WLBT or two Supertalk ads had he run as an independent.

Anonymous said...

"Or are they just empty suits, saying one thing and doing no thing."

Why the "or are?" Mississippi politics is full of empty suits, boots, and cowboy hats speaking to empty suits, empty khakis and blazers, empty boots and cowboy hats, t-shirts, blue jeans, fishing shirts, camo, overalls, and all other manner of dress. It doesn't matter the party affiliation of the candidate or voter, or what any of them are wearing at the moment. It is foolish and hypocritical to accuse a Biden-Presley-Thompson supporter of being some sort of ill-informed idiot when you are wearing a MAGA hat and waiving a "TRUMP 2024" sign. It is just as foolish and hypocritical to accuse a Trump-Reeves-Fitch supporter of being an ill-informed idiot when you are waiving a Biden-Presley-Thompson sign. Vacuous (at best) voters get the vacuous (at best) leaders they deserve.

About 15 years ago, the late, noted New Orleans conservative Ben C. Toledano wrote an article giving his thoughts on "an autopsy" of New Orleans. Some specific points were and are NOLA-specific but much of the broad concept, especially the problems of the last 50-60 years, he laid out is applicable to Mississippi. Here is a link:

I'd recommend a read even for those who have no interest in NOLA and its problems.

Anonymous said...

1:14 makes an interesting observation: Does puzzled me, however, how he lost his home turf.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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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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