Untapped Blue In The Deep South

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.

http://robwire.com/?q=node/1336

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.  

Tags: blue, Senate (all tags)

Comments

4 Comments

Mississippi

Mississippi is 36% black, so a Democrat running statewide can generally count on about 35% of the vote.  The problem is that the white voters in Mississippi are so conservative that the cap on a Democrat is pretty low.  Lott is a pretty racially polarizing figure (unlike Cochran) so that may have helped the Dem in some of the Delta counties that are heavily black.

I don't have much hope for Mississippi.

by Tom 2006-11-08 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Untapped Blue In The Deep South

Mississippi is not that much different politically than Tennessee or Montana. Bush got 60% in Mississippi and Montana and 57% in Tennessee in 2004. If Democrats had run a candidate in Mississippi that was a Jon Tester type of candidate they could probably have been competitive if the hard base with no money is 200,000 votes. Democrats should try to field candidates in every possible race in state elections in 2007 and for the House and Senate in 2008.

by robliberal 2006-11-08 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Untapped Blue In The Deep South

Mississippi is not that much different politically than Tennessee or Montana. Bush got 60% in Mississippi and Montana and 57% in Tennessee in 2004.

Very interesting.

If Democrats had run a candidate in Mississippi that was a Jon Tester type of candidate they could probably have been competitive

Where exactly might one find this type of candidate?

Maybe more germane is the example of the Longs of Louisiana who had no truck with segregation even in the darkest days of racial subjugation.  The Longs were not exactly a model of good governance but they prove the universality of values.

I was awed and confused in Vietnam long ago when I found the Viet Cong carried Jefferson's Declaration of Independence along with their propaganda materials. What use had terrorists for such a document?

The appeal of liberty is universal.  Not all that bad to run on such a platform.  That's what Jon Tester did.

The claim in these parts that the Democratic Party must forego such appeals in the South is ludicrous and destructive.

Best,  Terry  

by terryhallinan 2006-11-08 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Untapped Blue In The Deep South

The first time I saw a Jon Tester commercial on a blog I thought to myself wow we need to clone this guy he would be ideal in the South.

Ford getting within 3 points in Tennessee has proven many wrong that the South should be written off. If the Democratic Party can do well with control of both houses in the next 2 years I think there will be even more opportunities in both the South and West.

by robliberal 2006-11-08 07:05PM | 0 recs

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