/Hood’s performance in 2015, especially in House districts, helped dictate Trump’s visit to Tupelo

Hood’s performance in 2015, especially in House districts, helped dictate Trump’s visit to Tupelo

In winning his fourth term as attorney general in 2015 against Republican Mike Hurst, Hood won nine Republican-controlled districts located less than an hour from the BancorpSouth Arena where Trump will give his full-throated support for Reeves in a speech that will be carried live on television in northeast Mississippi. Hood will be able to repeat that feat against Reeves on Tuesday, and there is a good chance that he will win most votes in the general election for governor. To be elected to governor under the state Constitution candidates must not only win a majority but also win the most votes from a majority in each of the 122 House district. The House will decide between the top two vote-getters if no candidate reaches both thresholds. These provisions are a remnant of the state’s Jim Crow-era Constitution from 1890s. They were created to stop blacks from holding statewide office. Hurst was defeated in 2015, which is now the US. Hood, attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi won 55.4 percent of votes and 66 House district seats, including nine currently held by Republican House members close to Tupelo. These House members include Nick Bain from Corinth, Jody Steverson, William Tracy Arnold, and Steve Massengill, all of Ripley; Margaret Rogers, New Albany; Mac Huddleston, Pontotoc; Randy Bell, Chris Brown, Aberdeen, and Jim Beckett, Bruce. Hood won the Nolan Mettetal district of Sardis, while he also won the District of Joey Hood in Ackerman. Hood is located just west of Tupelo. Hood won nine districts in the state, as well as those of nine other Republicans. These include Bill Denny from Jackson, and two districts on the Delta’s edges – Jason White and Karl Oliver of Winona. Randall Patterson of Biloxi, Missy McGee from Hattiesburg and Noah Sanford in Collins currently hold the Republican districts that he won in South Mississippi. Shane Barnett is Waynesboro; Mark Tullos at Raleigh; Vince Mangold is Brookhaven. Hood also won 46 of the 46 currently held by Democrats. Hood won less than 55 per cent of the votes in 18 of the 20 Republican House districts he represented.
Trump’s visit to Reeves could accomplish two things: help him get votes to win the majority of the popular vote and reduce the number Republican-held House district Hood wins in northeast Mississippi. Reeves refused to state that he would not contest the House election if he lost the popular vote. If he loses the popular vote, his only way to win in a House likely to have an overwhelming Republican majority is to persuade Republican House members to vote the same way their constituents voted as the state. According to Jonathan Rodden, a political science instructor and the director of the Stanford Spatial Social Science Lab, Hood needs to win the popular vote by around 55 percent Tuesday against Reeves to guarantee the election is not thrown into the Republican-controlled House. Rodden’s analysis was part of a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Mississippi. The gerrymandered layout of the districts meant that Reeves could win the majority of House districts, with approximately 47 percent of votes. 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 wouldn’t have won a majority House district, leaving the election up to the House members. Mississippi is the only state where candidates for statewide office must win the majority of the popular vote, the most votes in the majority of House districts, or the electoral votes. Trump will speak in Tupelo Friday night on the popular vote and votes in the House districts. This report was contributed by Alex Rozier.