RR: Capitol Press Corps recaps elections

December 3rd, 2008 by Perry

At this month’s Capitol Press Corps Stennis luncheon, Clarion Ledger Perspective Editor Sid Salter, Northeast Daily Journal Capitol Correspondent Bobby Harrison and Marty Wiseman from the Stennis Institute were joined by Jackson State University political science professor Mary Coleman to recap the election.

They had interesting perspectives on Bennie Thompson’s role in elections, Jim Kitchens win over Jim Smith on the Supreme Court, the Wicker-Musgrove Senate race, and future races against Democratic Congressman Travis Childers in the First Congressional District.  You can read the full column to hear some of their perspectives: Perry / Capitol press corps recaps elections.  For other interpretations of the luncheon, you can read this piece from Emily Wagster Pettus at the Associated Press (Mississippi not a 2-party state, professor says) or this one from Adam Lynch at the Jackson Free Press (Talking Heads Reflect on Election).

I shared a couple of my own observations on the Jim Smith and Jim Kitchens race in the column as well:

Unfortunately for Smith, it was a Democratic leaning district. John McCain and Roger Wicker both carried Mississippi by strong margins, but both trailed Barack Obama and Ronnie Musgrove in the counties of the central Supreme Court District.

In 2000, Smith lost Hinds County by about 6,000 votes, but netted 4,000 votes from Madison County and carried Rankin County by 17,000 votes to win the district by 11,000 votes.

This year he trailed Kitchens in Hinds County by 37,000 votes, lost Republican Madison County, and only outpaced his top rival in Rankin County by 2,701 votes.

The Kitchens name was also an asset in Rankin and Madison counties where John Kitchens served as a popular district attorney from 1992-2000 and then as a circuit court judge from 2000-2004. Many Rankin and Madison Republicans were puzzled on Nov. 5, when they realized they had voted for Jim Kitchens, not John Kitchens.

The Stennis Luncheon is open to the public each month and costs $12. To get on the mailing list or to find out more information, e-mail Phil Hardwick at phil.hardwick@msstate.edu. You should also check out Phil’s blog.

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