Mississippi voters to elect next governor Tuesday

Mississippi voters to elect next governor Tuesday

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In one day polls in Mississippi will open for Election Day in the Magnolia State where voters will decide who holds statewide offices. And the governor’s race in Mississippi is being watched closely.

On Friday, President Donald Trump campaigned for Tate Reeves in Tupelo. But some of the attendees drove from out-of-state to see the president and weren’t from Mississippi. On Monday, Vice-President Mike Pence campaigned for Reeves on the Mississippi gulf coast.

President Trump talks governor's race, impeachment inquiry at Tupelo rally

“He will be a great governor. Tate, come on up,” Trump said Friday.

The president himself acknowledged the race, which pundits say should be a runaway for a Republican in ruby-red Mississippi, remains unusually close.

“I can’t believe this is a competitive race. It’s like embarrassing. I’m talking to Mississippi,” he said.

Reeves, the state’s current two-term lieutenant governor, has made the campaign largely about national politics. Four-term Attorney General Jim Hood, the Democrat in the race, has emphasized Mississippi issues and tried to distance himself from Washington D.C.

A poll released at the end of October found Reeves with a 3-percentage point edge, but it falls within the poll’s margin of error.

“I don’t think Trump likes to campaign for somebody that ends up losing, so that’s a good sign for Tate Reeves,” said WMC Action News 5 Political Analyst Michael Nelson.

Nelson said Trump’s trip to Mississippi does not guarantee Reeves a victory, however.

“There’s a good bit of research that when a president campaigns in an election, it increases turnout on the president’s party,” Nelson said. “But it also increases turnout on the president’s opposing party.”

Both candidates were upbeat Monday when WMC Action News 5 talked to them in the final hours of campaigning.

“So many of the Republicans have encouraged me to run and many of them continue,” said Hood. “I think a lot of them will go in there and vote quietly and vote for me. They want to see change in Mississippi.”

“Turnout is going to be critical tomorrow a big turnout with lots of conservatives and lots of republicans voting is good for republicans good for conservatives good for our campaign,” said Reeves.

Polls in Mississippi are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Voters will also choose candidates for other statewide offices on the ballot.

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