The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Don’t Expect Much Drama in Today’s Gubernatorial Races


Today, barring some dramatic upset, the Republicans and Democrats will each retain one governor’s mansion.

In Mississippi, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant leads the most recent poll, 54 percent to 40 percent, over his Democratic challenger, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree.

Yesterday evening, Haley Barbour appeared on Fox News and declared, “Unless something happens unusual, Phil Bryant will get elected if there is a large turnout. And Mississippi in the last five governors elections, Republicans have won four, the one governor’s election won by a liberal Democrat was because we had an unusually small turnout and that’s why Republicans are hoping that we do have a big turnout would be to Phil Bryant and the Republican ticket’s advantage.”

Republicans are expected to do well in the state legislative races and other statewide races, except for state attorney general, Jim Hood, the only remaining Democrat elected statewide, is expected to win reelection. At the right-leaning Majority in Mississippi site, they think a shift in control of the State Senate could be in the works: “Currently Democrats have a 68-54 advantage (was 75-47 following the last election). Republicans need eight seats to get to the magic number of 62 needed for a majority. Can they do it? I can see Republicans picking up anywhere from 3 to 9 seats so that is basically me ducking the issue. These races are small, local, and we just can’t always get a feel on how they will turn out until the voters head to the polls. I expect to see a couple surprises.”

For the GOP, Kentucky is a frustrating missed opportunity. Incumbent Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear has not been tainted by President Obama’s unpopularity in the state at all, and the GOP nominee, State Senate President David Williams, is polling exceptionally poorly. How poorly? “According to the SurveyUSA poll released last week, 30% of likely Republican voters plan to vote for Steve Beshear; the Democratic incumbent.  40% of conservatives plan to vote for Beshear. Even 21% of voters who identify with the tea party plan to vote for Beshear.”

For what it is worth, Williams is still talking up his chances of an upset: “Williams talked earlier in the day about surprising the Democrats. “We’ve had a tremendous closing two or three weeks here. We’ve been out all over the state. … I think the informed people of this state are going turn up tomorrow at the election and we’re going to have an upset victory,” he said during a morning appearance in Louisville.”

Tags: David Williams , Johnny DuPree , Phil Bryant , Steve Beshear


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