Candidates May Energize Mississippi Vote

Do last-minute campaign stops and handshakes make a difference for a political candidate?

"People react to the person in a much different way than they react to a television ad," said Dr. Kathy Baxter, associate vice-president of research and government affairs at Meridian Community College.

Baxter said this tactic will work in a candidate's favor.

"There's nothing like a personal encounter, even if it's not close up," said Baxter.

Baxter compares the stops to pep rallies, where the candidates are not only trying to energize their supporters but also to win over undecided voters.

"One thing that happens as a result of these stops is that more people are likely to vote," said Baxter.

What impact will younger voters on Mississippi's Mar. 11 primaries, especially since it falls during spring break?

Baxter says that can only be measured the day of the election. She said one thing that is for sure is that, even to her surprise, Mississippi could have a major impact on the campaigns.

"It may very well be that Mississippi is important in determining who is the Democratic nominee for president," Baxter said.

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