JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s four weeks until the primary election in Mississippi. As the ads pick up and the door knocking continues, Millsaps political science professor Dr. Nathan Shrader says he’s interested to see what turnout looks like next month. He’s hoping it will be better than last year’s primary numbers.
“Turnout was just abysmal," Shrader said of the 2018 primary numbers. "It was just a bit over 13 percent. Should that turnout replicate itself in this primary, which I certainly hope it does not, you could potentially have a very small subset of the electorate choosing who the party nominees are going to be.”
Now to the races to watch. While the top billing is the gubernatorial race, Republicans Tate Reeves and Bill Waller, Jr. are upping their ads.
“There is to me a distinct difference in how they’re talking about the key issues that they’re using as their closing argument," Shrader noted. “He (Waller) really seems to be driving home a pragmatic practical message. Where Reeves is talking about, I’ve already been there. I’ve done these things. And I’m a reliable culture warrior conservative and I will be that way as Governor.”
Shrader says money and name recognition are the two biggest issues the third candidate Robert Foster faces. On the Democratic side, Shrader expects Jim Hood will take the nomination easily but he’s watching to see how large of a lead he’ll take. It’s also the Republican primary for Attorney General, with Lynn Fitch, Andy Taggart and Mark Baker,generating talk. Shrader noted they all have their own strengths and are strong candidates for the party.
“Andy Taggart with his years of experience as an attorney but as a party insider and respected party elder," explained Shrader. "Treasurer Lynn Fitch-very dynamic elected official and somebody who I think is a very effective campaigner. And then you have Mark Baker who comes from Rankin County a strong hotbed of Republican politics.”