November 4, 2014
- What happened to Thad Cochran's black-vote turnout machine?
After the incumbent made it into a runoff against state Sen. Chris McDaniel, Cochran's campaign launched an all-out blitz aimed at getting African Americans who did not participate in the Democratic primary to vote in the GOP runoff. It worked then. But with the exception of a poorly attended rally in downtown Jackson and some ads in the Mississippi Link, Cochran isn't going as hard for blacks to show up at the polls today. Makes you go hmmmmm.
- What was Travis Childers thinking?
When he talked at the Neshoba County fair this summer about raising the minimum wage, equal pay for women and expanding health-care access, I thought those were solid populist issues that could appeal to traditional Democratic voters—blacks, women and young folks—as well as blue-collar whites. All he really needed to do was to go around the state hammering those three talking points into the heads of sensible people who'd tuned out the Cochran-McDaniel legal shenanigans. Childers didn't even need much money to do that. And as a successful businessman, could have driven around the state on his dime. Instead, he remained silent; his campaign ignored interview requests from reporters. And when it became clear that his opponent would be Cochran, all Childers wanted to do was talk about debates, which almost never works.
- Could there be a tea party 'Bradley Effect'?
When Tom Bradley, the first black mayor of Los Angeles, ran for governor of California in the 1980s, some polling organizations projected that he would win. After he lost, narrowly, the term "Bradley effect" came to describe where people tell polltakers they will support a minority candidate because it seems politically correct, but then vote for the white candidate in the booth. A lot of McDaniel supporters claims they won't vote for Cochran under any circumstance and are looking at Childers as viable alternative. I wonder, though, if we'll see some version of the Bradley Effect, where tea-partiers vote for the Republican Cochran, but tell people they cast a protest vote for Childers or another candidate.
- Why is Chuck C. Johnson so quiet?
Remember when Johnson, a California-based blogger, blew into Mississippi and got the whole state all a-twitter during the Republican Senate primary? Remember how local media spent weeks chasing anti-Cochran "stories" that Johnson broke on his website. Apparently, Johnson got bored with us and headed up to Ferguson, Mo., to write about the protests surrounding the shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown. After that, he got really interested in Ebola. So interested in fact that he was booted from Twitter for publishing the home address of a nurse who had worked with an Ebola patient. Considering his heavy involvement—some might even say influence—in #mssen, it's a mystery why has yet to weigh in McDaniel's once-and-for-all defeat at the Mississippi Supreme Court.
- Maybe Blacks should just vote in GOP primaries from now on
If Thad Cochran returns to the U.S. Senate for another term, it will be because of black voters. The historical significance of that cannot be overstated. Since it worked out so well in the Senate race, what if blacks got involved in Republican primaries in all federal and statewide elections? That'll get the Legislature serious about election reform.