Republican vs. Democrat Nov. 4

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

The general election Nov. 4 could either strengthen the hold of the Republican Party in Mississippi, or return it to what Democrats call "the glory days".

For Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove, the last days of the campaign are vital as they try to gather those last minute votes before Tuesday's election.

But this race could do more than just decide which candidate will finish what's left of Trent Lott's unexpired term. The winner could signal a change in political power or business as usual in the state.

"We can't afford just voting Republican," said Barbara Blackmon, vice-chair of the Mississippi Democratic Party.

You would expect someone in her position to say that, but Blackmon says it's time for a change.

"We have had eight years of failed Bush policy," she said. "Prior to the eight years of Bush, the Republicans had been in control of Congress since 1992."

She blames the Wall Street mess and housing crisis on the Bush Administration also.

The former chairman of the state Republicans sees it differently.

"We'll have a large turnout," said Jim Herring. "Generally speaking, history tells us a large turnout in Mississippi means a Republican victory."

But the races for the White House and here in Mississippi for United States Senate have been anything but typical. Leaving some to wonder, what if?

"This is a critical juncture in our state's history and we have to get it right this time," Blackmon said.

"Southerners being more conservative, being for limited government, being more for individual freedoms, tend to vote for people that stand for those values," said Herring. "And Republicans and Sen. McCain in particular certainly stand for those values."

Even with a Wicker win Tuesday, the Democrats would still control the U.S. Senate.

The Musgrove campaign and state Democrats say that's the reason Musgrove should be elected. As a Democrat, they say he would be able to get more done for the state.

But the latest Rasmussen Reports poll indicates Wicker has made large gains with women and undecided voters within the last month to take a 54% to 43% lead.


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