Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Sid Salter: Struggle for Senate Control Could Benefit Mississippi

Headed into the 2024 election cycle, 48 Democrats and three independent U.S. senators who caucus with them give the Democratic Party a narrow 51-49 majority in the U.S. Senate over the 49 Republicans. Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris is also present and can cast her vote in case of a tie.

With the recent announcement by veteran Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin that he won’t seek re-election from his conservative state, Republicans feel emboldened that they will pick up Manchin’s seat. From there, the political math gets increasingly favorable for the GOP in that the Dems will be defending 23 of the total 34 Senate seats contested on the 2024 ballot.

Moreover, three of those Democratic Senate seats are in states carried by Donald Trump in 2016 and 2024. Four more of those seats are in swing states won narrowly by Joe Biden in 2020.

Those developments create a hotly contested battle for control of the U.S. Senate against the backdrop of a presidential campaign that could feature a 2020 election rematch between incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden, 81, against Trump, 77.

The presidential race means the 2024 U.S. Senate races will intensify in presidential battleground states like Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. With Manchin’s retirement, Democrats are already looking to target Republicans in states like Texas and Florida, where incumbents like U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Rick Scott are perceived to be vulnerable.

So how does the partisan struggle for U.S. Senate control impact Mississippi? Why does it matter?

Representing Mississippi in the Senate since 2007, senior Mississippi U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Tupelo, currently is the ranking GOP member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and also a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee (he served previously as chairman and ranking member for the 116th and 117th Congresses, respectively. Wicker also serves on the Environment and Public Works Committee and the Rules and Administration Committee.

If the Senate flips to Republican control, Wicker becomes chairman of the Armed Services Committee. How big a deal is that for Mississippi’s economy? Simply put, only Walmart employs more Mississippians than Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula. Wicker is a longtime champion of expanding the nation’s U.S. Navy and commercial maritime fleets with American-built ships.

Every military base in the state, Mississippi’s robust Army and Air National Guard and Reserve units, federally funded defense research enterprises, and the state’s commercial defense contracting manufacturers and the jobs they represent would benefit.

Wicker is also among the few in the Senate who actually served in the military. He’s a veteran of active-duty service in the U.S. Air Force and retired from the Air Force Reserve in 2004 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Likewise, a flip to Republican control of the Senate would enable Mississippi’s junior U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Brookhaven, to do more for her home state. Hyde-Smith holds seats on the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, Agriculture Committee, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Rules and Administration Committee, representing strong assignments for a senator whose seniority began in 2018.

Hyde-Smith’s committee and subcommittee assignments give her exceptional clout on agricultural issues. A Senate flip to the GOP would elevate and strengthen that influence.

Wicker faces re-election in 2024 and has already drawn two GOP primary opponents in DeSoto County State Rep. Dan Eubanks and retired U.S. Marine Col. Ghannon Burton of Tishomingo County. Vicksburg attorney Ty Pinkins has declared for the Democratic Party nomination to challenge Wicker. Hyde-Smith will not face re-election until 2026.

Headed into the campaign, Wicker on Sept. 30 reported having raised $5.85 million for the run with over $4.9 million cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Many political dominoes still have to fall over the next year, but Mississippi’s two Republican senators are poised to rise if the GOP gains Senate control.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at



Anonymous said...

I notice Wicker already has signs up on the crossroads of Mississippi and a few TV ads. I guess he feels the need to pump advertising money into the economy. At least the ads don't say he is the only one telling the truth. I got really tired of both sides saying nothing but that in the Governor's race. I wish Wicker and whoever winds up being his opponent would both come up with a different campaign strategy. Everyone already knows if a politician's mouth is moving he/she is lying. Hopefully they will come up with something better, like some old momma type person seated beside them in a park bench, calling them Doughboy, then Dimbert or whatever.

Anonymous said...

"Moreover, three of those Democratic Senate seats are in states carried by Donald Trump in 2016 and 2024."

Who knew Trump carried any particular state in 2024? Salter's crystal ball must be more powerful than mine.

Anonymous said...

Is Sid Salter named after Grant's troops who burned houses and salted fields?

Anonymous said...

"...are in states carried by Donald Trump in 2016 and 2024..."

And next week's Powerball numbers are...

"Simply put, only Walmart employs more Mississippians than Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula."

Aside from the other myriad implications of such a statement of alleged fact (and assuming it is both literally true and objectively fair), it seems a bit odd that supposedly fiscally-conservative GOPers are being touted for their potential ability to stick their noses even deeper in to the public troug, er, I mean coffer. If it is not the primary purpose of the military to function as a last-chance employer or an experiment in social equality, and it is neither, then it sure as shit is not the primary purpose of its suppliers to serve as employers/economic engines.

"Senator, these ships are necessary!"

"Um, a guy on a camel with a shoulder-fired rocket can sink them so they really aren't a priority for..."

"NOT A PRIORITY?! Between the profit for our shareholders and the jobs they create - in YOUR district - these things are a HUGE boost to the economy!"

(Af)Fix credit cards! CHARGE!

Anonymous said...

It really is sad that the best someone can say about Wicker is that he could bring more federal money into the State. Has anybody noticed that Wicker and company have run up a 30 trillion dollar debt? The has already passed to stop this reckless spending. I’d have more respect for Wicker if he would be something more than a small bore elected official whose main goal is to send more federal money to the State.

Anonymous said...

Benefit WHO in Mississippi? The cigar boys? Certainly not the normal folk.

Anonymous said...

No one seems to appreciate that Mississippi is taken for granted at the national level by the GOP.

We are at the bottom due to the fact that we will always need the " other party" to get money.

That was true when Eastland was powerful and the Democrats in office as well.

Thank God we have rational Senators in Wicker and Guest and have had a powerful Mississippi with longevity in the House,but keep it up and our Senators will NOT have the ability to persuade anybody in the clown circus known as the House of Representatives.

And the day we started PAYING politicians at the national level to come give us a speech was a VERY BAD DAY for democracy and republicanism.

Anonymous said...

With a 34T dollar overdraft at the bank, no one, state or country, benefits from any aspect of the financial & criminal maleficent or dereliction of duty.

You just keep running with that rope Sid. You and all those senators.

Anonymous said...

Just based on that hard-bitten, down-in-the-tranches" military service, Roger "Ol' Blood 'n' Guts" Wicker has my vote.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Sonny Montgomery died years ago, WLBT reporter Bert Case said it was an "end of an era" and how much money he had brought to Mississippi during that "era". It seems every state has their own version of Sonny. Add when you add it all up it is called the national debt.

I don't believe that the founding fathers ever intended for a term would be so long as to classify it as an era. All this spending will never end unless/until we have congressional term limits.

Anonymous said...

Sid could be right, but he fails to mention that Dobbs could create some serious issues for republicans in these so called, “ Safe Seats”

Anonymous said...

No this spending well never end until the Federal Reserve Bank is audited and their crimes punished. The Creature from Jekyll Island is responsible for the state of the nation and the corruption of our political institutions. Three events around the same time have brought this nation down in just over 100 years. The Federal Reserve Act, the 16th Amendment, and the 19th Amendment.

Anonymous said...

Pre-textual column to prop up the RINO Wicker. Salter and Crawford are cut from the same cloth.

Its all about the pork all over the time.

Salter should be required to fully disclose that his employment benefits from pork.

Anonymous said...

I hope Dan Eubanks primaries and beats Wicker. I am tired of him sending more money to Ukraine and approving Biden's communists appointments. We need someone like Hawley or Rand Paul representing us.

Anonymous said...

Can any sensible person not say or at least admit to themselves when comparing guys like Biden and Trump to past presidents that Nixon, Ford, and Carter were actually pretty decent presidents and Ford and Carter were also decent men who put country before themselves (actually, it isn't unreasonable to say that Ford and Carter put a lot of things ahead of their own self-interest). I guess it is like kids and parents - the kids get a little older and wiser and they begin to realize that mom and dad were right about a whole host of things. To paraphrase, I knew and know a smattering of now-retired Senators from several states around the country and from both sides of the aisle, including Trent Lott. Roger Wicker isn't even a Trent Lott. And Cindy isn't even a Roger Wicker. To paraphrase again (the late, great Charles Munger), you can mix raisins and turds and elect them to Congress but you still have a bunch of turds in Congress.

Anonymous said...

November 29, 2023 at 10:50 AM, if the republicants really want to win those seats, in whichever chamber, all they need to do his hammer the economy, immigration, and leave baby murder to the states. That's a guaranteed winning formula.

Anonymous said...

10:50 Enough of the "Dobbs rhetoric."
When the pro-abortion lobby outspends the pro-life lobby 3:1, yes, Dobbs is a problem. On an even playing field Dobbs is an asset.

The millions spent in Ohio, coupled with the media cheerleaders, made much of the less than 1% cases. Cash made the difference, not Dobbs.

Anonymous said...

The main problem for republicans is the coattails of Trump. If anyone else gets their nomination Biden will dropout.

Anonymous said...

10:19 AM
Our Senators are Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde Smith.
Michael Guest is a Representative.

Anonymous said...

November 29, 2023 at 11:10 AM, much truth you speak, but who can hear?

Anonymous said...

to 10;19....guest is not a senator

Anonymous said...

"(citing "the FRB should be charged" nonsense)...much truth you speak..."

Oh, for fuck's we got a cut-rate Yoda Musk. Here's a tip for the sane who don't already know: anyone who has "FederalReserveBankophobia" and spouts off about "the Federal Reserve Bank" doesn't know the slightest thing about anything remotely related to the subject. The same goes for those who spout off about how (insert any former or the current President's name here) is responsible for the (great, terrible, fair-to-middlin', collapsed) "economy." Especially so if they have a PhD in Economics or a Nobel prize in it. If they have both, just smile and back away slowly.

Anonymous said...

@3:25 PM
So says the person who likely doesn’t even understand what the reference The Creature from Jekyll Island even means.

Anonymous said...

November 29, 2023 at 4:30 PM, angered the belligerent Padawan, you have. The Padawan feels bold while being seduced by the dark side, knowing not their own pride will be their downfall.

The creature from Jekyll Island, has grown to be a monstrous leviathan, with its tentacles involved in every aspect of global human activities. It corrupts every gullible soul with the lure of its filthy lucre. Who could have known from the beginning what the creature would become? GOD knew.

Anonymous said...

"...angered the belligerent Padawan..."

It's fine to be a fan of whatever books or movies, i.e., fiction, one happens to like as long as one knows it is fiction. I'll just smile and back away slowly...while mentioning that Padawans, however belligerent they think they are, can kiss my dimpled southern ass. I hate to break it to you, but this is the real world and all that fantasy shit - from Padawans to "New World Orders" to Trump (or Clinton) really won and all that Kraken nonsense to craptocurrency to "charge the FRB!" - is exactly that. It's always "the end of the world as you know it" because you never learned what the actual world was and is. But I feel fine...(with a nod to Stipe, Buck, et al).

Anonymous said...

12:20 is right and should be running the campaign for half of these old idiots.
They are going to lose so much based on federal abortion laws, and when they do...Controlling Dems will implement much worse with little opposition.

But Repubs cant/wont.
They will lose. And we will all pay dearly.

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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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Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

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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Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

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!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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