/For first time, Hood faces same headwinds as other Mississippi Democrats

For first time, Hood faces same headwinds as other Mississippi Democrats

There were 907,588 votes cast in that election. Hyde-Smith won 53.6 percent, while Espy captured 46.4 percent. Tuesday saw 862,609 votes cast, with Republican Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves received 52.1 percent, and Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood won 46.6 percent. The rest was split between two third-party candidates. As contested ballots are added to the total, it is possible Tuesday’s vote total may increase. There are many similarities between the 2018 special election and other areas with black majority that are Democratic strongholds. Hinds was the largest county in the state. Espy won 77 percent or 61,115 votes, while Hood took 55,403 votes, or 77.5 percent, during the governor’s race. Similar results were seen in the Delta, another area with a high black population or stronghold of Democrats. Hood received 730 more votes in Washington County, which is the heart of Delta. It appears that Hood, a white Democrat hailing from northeast Mississippi, did not perform as well among African American voters as Espy. Espy is a historical figure who was the first black Mississippian to be elected to the U.S. House in the 1800s. According to Brad Chism, a Mississippi pollster, a key difference is that black voters in the U.S. Senate special elections accounted for about 35 percent of total electorate, compared to 31 percent in Espy’s election. Hood was slightly better than Espy among white voter. Hood, Mississippi’s sole statewide elected Democrat had won four elections with at least comfortable margins, sometimes landslides, by winning support from Mississippians of color who are more inclined to vote Democratic than the other candidates. Hood’s hometown in northeast Mississippi, which he affectionately refers to as the hills, was the heart of this crossover appeal. Hood won Union County in Hills by a margin of 3,907 to 3,709 in 2015. He lost the county this Tuesday by a margin of 5,934 to 2,461. He won Alcorn County in 2015 by a 5,273-to-5136 margin. Tuesday, however, he lost it by an astonishing 8,596 (75.5%) for Reeves and 2,633 (23.1%) for Hood. Similar results were also seen in other counties like Itawamba or Prentiss. Hood only managed to do marginally better in northeast Mississippi than Espy on Tuesday. To offset Reeves’ strong support on the populous Gulf Coast, Hood had to perform strongly in northeast Mississippi. Hood performed better in Jackson suburbs than any other Democrats in recent elections. Since 1987, he was the first Democratic nominee for gubernatorial office to win Madison County. This is where Hood was born in an affluent Jackson suburb. Hood didn’t lose because he failed to get enough African American votes. Hood lost because he didn’t win as many white voters as he did in the past. He would have lost if black voters had been as large in the election as they were in Espy. While black and white Mississippians often eat, socialize, work, and go to school together sometimes, they vote in different ways. Hood’s inability to win his last election was most likely due to a variety of reasons. Hood has been challenged by well-funded opponents in the past but he has never been opposed to a candidate who has spent more than $11 million on Hood’s behalf. This makes Hood a tax-and-spend liberal who is dependent on national Democrats. A Hood campaign staffer stated Tuesday night that it was a “bad environment” for a Democrat. It looked as if he might have to undergo concussion protocol. One could argue that President Donald Trump created the atmosphere by holding a combustible rally at Tupelo (northeast Mississippi) just days before the election. The Trump voters were clearly thinking of impeachment and Hood argued that a vote to elect Hood was a vote in favor of impeachment. Reeves worked also to link Hood to the impeachment efforts of congressional Democrats. Most likely, Reeves would win regardless of President Obama’s visit in Tupelo. Democrats wonder if Jim Hood can win the top state office. It doesn’t seem like anyone is on the horizon. Today, Mississippi is a Republican state. It is moving in the right direction at the local and national levels. Barack Obama was voted in by 554,662 Mississippians in 2008. But he still lost by 13%. It will take a lot of work to find the right Democrat in Mississippi to win the state._x000D