/Hood would need to win 55 percent of votes to keep the House from deciding race, statistical analysis claims

Hood would need to win 55 percent of votes to keep the House from deciding race, statistical analysis claims

Winning a majority of the popular vote and the most votes in a majority of the House districts ensured that the Democrat Hood’s election would not be decided by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Jonathan Rodden, a political scientist and director of Stanford Spatial Social Science Lab is a political science instructor. Hood must win the popular vote on Nov. 5, against Republican Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves will once again ensure that the election is not handed to the House. In a U.S. District Court Southern District of Mississippi analysis, Rodden stated that the Democratic candidate or black-preferred candidate “would need more then 55 percent of the state vote to secure a majority of (House) electoral votes.” The electoral vote would not be won by candidates preferred by whites. Rodden, who analyzes census and polling data, stated that Hood’s margin for victory in 2015 against Hurst would have been less than 2 percent. This would have meant that Hood would not have won the majority of House districts. It would have been up to the House members, then, to decide. Mississippi is the only state that requires candidates to run for statewide office in Mississippi. They must win the majority of popular vote, the most votes in the majority of House districts, or the electoral votes. The election is thrown to the House to determine who the top vote-getter is. These provisions are sometimes called the electoral junior colleges by some. Democrats have not had many candidates for statewide office except for the office as attorney general. The National Redistricting Foundation filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of four African-American Mississippians. They are asking for the removal of the provisions from the state Constitution. It is clear that these provisions were included in the 1890s Mississippi Constitution in order to prevent any African American (then the majority in the state) from being elected to statewide office. The House districts were set up by the white establishment to ensure white supremacy. This was described as the “legal basis and bulwark” of white supremacy in a state that had an overwhelming and growing number of negros. Now, it is more difficult for Democrats or black-preferred candidates to win statewide office. Mississippi is the most racially polarized nation, with approximately 90 percent of Mississippians voting for the Democrat. White Mississippians generally vote at the same level for both the Republican and Democrat. However, the exception to this rule has been in four elections for Jim Hood, who was elected attorney general. Hood was the closest to victory in 2015. Still, Hood won by a narrow margin. Hood was able to win in nine House districts with less than 52 per cent of the vote. The election could have been decided by the House if a few votes were changed in these districts. A Democrat is often at a disadvantage because the House districts were drawn to ensure that there are as many Republicans in the House as possible. There are 42 House districts with a majority of black residents. These districts are home to the majority of black Mississippi voters, so Hood should win with large margins. There are eight districts with black voters aged between 30 and 40 percent. These districts are considered more competitive than those where both Republican or Democratic candidates are likely to win. Rodden called it a “true swing district” because there is one district that has a black population between 35 percent to 50 percent. The Republican Mike Parker, who lost the 1999 election to become governor, insisted on forcing a House ballot. The Democrats held a dominant majority at that time. The 33 Republican House members voted in Parker, the losing candidate statewide. Only two of them voted for Parker because they claimed they were voting according to their districts. Interesting to note is that Reeves, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (who is running for lieutenant governor), have not said they wouldn’t contest the House election if their Democratic rivals won the popular vote. However, they did not win the majority of House districts.