Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday morning Senate race update

The non-announcement by US Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) as to whether he will seek re-election to the Senate has already drawn one announced candidate and set off rampant speculation in the Magnolia State about different scenarios in 2014.

Here's the latest:

1) Attorney General Jim Hood (D) is supposedly being heavily courted by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to run for the seat. Hood is enormously popular in Mississippi. He consistently performs well in polls of Republicans, and has twice been re-elected with comfortable margins. To get an idea of just how strong an opponent Hood would be for any Republican, let this fact sink in: Hood got 10,000 more votes than then-Gov. Haley Barbour (R) in their respective 2007 re-election bids. 

The question really isn't could Hood win the race against anyone other than Cochran. That's a given. The question is whether or not Hood would be interested in leaving the AG's Office, where he clearly enjoys prosecuting criminals and protecting Mississippi's vulnerable citizens. Time will tell. 

2) Former Congressman Travis Childers (D) is taking a long look at getting in the race if Sen. Cochran retires. Childers, a conservative Democrat, fits the mold of successful candidates against Tea Party opponents in red states. The Washington Post ran an article about Childers and this Senate seat yesterday, and it's chock full of info. Simply put, if Childers could win the conservative First District after a divisive GOP primary, he can certainly win statewide under the same scenario. 

3) Now for a blockbuster surprise: There's a TON of chatter out there that Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) is about to announce he is entering the Senate primary. Now, bear in mind that Cochran has not yet announced whether he is seeking re-election. Cochran's aides and close friends don't even know what Cochran will decide. This is a power play, pure and simple: There's no reason to believe Hosemann has some inside connection to Cochran that would lead Cochran to tip Hosemann off first. Hosemann is trying to force Cochran out.  I've confirmed through numerous sources that Hosemann has chosen Bee McNamara, former scheduler for Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R) to head up the staff. 

1 comment:

bill said...

I think Hood doesn't have any trouble being reelected because Republicans don't work very hard to replace him. The last few Republican candidates have been marginal at best, and if someone with the right credentials and experience came along Hood would have a fight on his hands, although the longer he stays in the office the easier the fight will be. I don't think he stands a chance in the Senate race against anyone with statewide name recognition, even if the Republicans predictably crucify each other in the primary.

Your take on Hosemann is interesting. While possible, I don't think Delbert is trying to force anything. I think that he, along with others, has gotten signals from the Cochran camp that Cochran is going to hang it up so he's stepped on the gas a little to get the jump on other potential statewide elected officials who are interested in the race.