Election Remembered for 'Negatives'?

By: Jon Kalahar Email
By: Jon Kalahar Email

Everybody likes to predict who will win the Nov. 4 elections. At a Capitol Press Corps luncheon, two political scientists gave us their opinions on the presidential race and Mississippi's senatorial races. They explained their reasoning.

But what we learned is there is no way to know for sure how voters will make their selections.

Months of campaigning, months of advertising, have all come down to one day. But what could be an historic election for the nation could very well be remembered more for its negatives here in Mississippi.

"To me it represents a lowest common denominator," said Joe Parker, a former professor at the University of Southern Mississippi."

Parker says the negative ads and campaigning between Sen. Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove have embarrassed many voters. Still he points to certain voters Musgrove must get to pull out a victory.

"More tricky is the rural areas of white working class that in recent years have trended toward Republican," said Parker. "But in Musgrove's election for governor he managed to pull enough of that vote to pull it off."

Parker and the Stennis Institute's Marty Wiseman agree Musgrove must get a significant portion of the Delta to have any chance to win. Wiseman also points to the Obama factor that is motivating African-Americans and Democrats in larger than usual numbers.

If that turnout gets large, that should give Musgrove the chance he needs," said Wiseman.

A large turnout could also influence actual voting.

"Probably put a historic strain on the voting process," said Parker. "Many precincts will not have the capability of taking in an expeditious fashion taking all the voters that'll come."

That may be one prediction that will come true. Expect long lines and bring plenty of patience to the polls Tuesday.

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