The 2011 gubernatorial race doesn't look to be much of a challenge for the Republicans to hold; neither Dem nominee, either Hattiesburg mayor Johnny Dupree or businessman and Morgan Freeman chum Bill Luckett, comes anywhere close. (If you're wondering why they didn't poll anyone stronger, nobody else is coming; the field is already closed.) The Republican primary -- between Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, whom I expect is the favorite based on being the only of the five candidates with name rec over 50% or positive favorables (32/27), businessman Dave Dennis, and retired general and county commissioner Hudson Holliday -- is where the real action will be, but it doesn't seem like PPP polled the primaries.
Travis Childers (D): 33
Roger Wicker (R-inc): 51
Jim Hood (D): 36
Roger Wicker (R-inc): 50
Mike Moore (D): 38
Roger Wicker (R-inc): 48
Ronnie Musgrove (D): 35
Roger Wicker (R-inc): 52
Gene Taylor (D): 36
Roger Wicker (R-inc): 48
With no Dem challenger on the horizon for Roger Wicker (who beat ex-Gov. Ronnie Musgrove in 2008, after previously being appointed by Haley Barbour to succeed Trent Lott), PPP throws the entire Dem bench up at the low-profile Wicker and finds that nothing really sticks, as he has a pretty strong 51/23 approval, including 33/29 among Dems. If anything, it gives a relative sense of what Dems are best liked here... it's probably ex-AG Mike Moore, who polls within 10 and has 39/23 favorables.
Here's something fun. There are ten Republican senators up for re-election in 2012, so my question to you is, who among that group is most likely to get teabagged to death? There are of course a lot of factors which go into this question, but at the end of the day, all we're asking is which GOP incumbents are most likely to get derailed on their way to seeking their party's (re-)nomination?
I've taken a stab at ranking this gruesome tensome, in order of likelihood of getting consumed by the tea-flavored beast:
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Ensign deserves an asterisk. While he's probably vulnerable in a primary, I don't really see such a race turning into a teabagger-fueled challenge. So on an ordinary list, he'd rate much higher, but here, he's toward the bottom of the pack.
What do you say? How would you rank this list? I see a lot of juicy targets for the Sharron Angle/Christine O'Donnell brigade!
Talk about being tone deaf: Roger Wicker's campaign says that all of Mississippi's job losses due to his votes in favor of NAFTA and CAFTA are actually a good thing!
"Roger Wicker is for free trade, because it allows us to take our low-skilled, low-paying jobs like textile manufacturing, and replace it with high-skilled, high-paying jobs like Toyota."
Stuck in hard times, Mississippi? Why, just go grab yourself one of them newfangled high-skilled, high-paying factory jobs! Don't all y'all know that they're growing on trees thanks to Roger Wicker's courage?
Research 2000 for Daily Kos (7/21-23, likely voters) (5/22 in parentheses):
Ronnie Musgrove (D): 44 (42)
Roger Wicker (R-inc.): 45 (44)
Not much movement in Mississippi, but it shows a very close race. And one that will probably stay close the whole way through, dependent largely on how much extra African-American turnout is generated by Obama's coattails.
How big are those coattails? The same sample says McCain is beating Obama 51-42. That's up from 54-39 in the previous poll, and more importantly, up from the 59-40 margin from the 2004 presidential election.
Multiplesources are confirming that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will appoint MS-01 Rep. Roger Wicker (R) to fill the vacancy of retiring Sen. Trent Lott today. (Update: It's now official.)
A recent Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research poll had Wicker trailing former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove by a 48-34 margin in a hypothetical election match-up. However, longtime SSP commenter Mississippiboy says that Musgrove won't run. I have yet to see published confirmation, but if accurate, Dems would have few obvious choices left on their shelf. Former Gov. Ray Mabus, maybe? (Update: I think we can put Musgrove back in the "uncertain" column for now.)
If Dems can't line up a strong challenger here, state AG Jim Hood's legal fight over the timing of the special election will be made mostly moot.
So says Clarion Ledger columnist and blogger Sid Salter. The N.E. Miss. Daily Journal also notes that Wicker & his wife met with Barbour yesterday.
Despite MS-01 being an R+10 district, Salter thinks that the open-seat race here (should Wicker get tapped) would be a "spirited" one. And though I haven't delved into the numbers myself, I'm told that this area is considered competitive, at least on a state & local level.
But at least for another day or so, this is all in the realm of speculation.