Untapped Blue In The Deep South
by robliberal, Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 03:34:08 PM EST
When I was looking through the election results for the Senate I was struck by the amount of votes that an obscure candidate received for the U.S. Senate in Mississippi. Neither the state or national Democratic Party recruited anyone to run against incumbent Republican Senator Trent Lott and the race was never on the radar screen.
When no major Democrats were recruited to challenge Lott, the nomination went to Erik Fleming an African American member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. Fleming is little known statewide and was only able to raise $43,000 as the Democratic nominee. Fleming was in the past a supporter of perennial Democratic presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche.
With very little campaign money or publicity the former LaRouche supporter was able to get 205,000 votes in Mississippi against a popular GOP incumbent. Fleming actually carried a number of counties and kept Lott's totals to just over 50% in some counties.
The amount of votes that Fleming received are a sign there is a good base in even the most red states from which a Democrat could run. If an obscure candidate can carry counties and get 205,000 votes for only $43,000 a well financed candidate potentially could do quite well.