Analysts discuss Biden and Sanders’ chances in upcoming Mississippi primary election

Updated: Mar. 5, 2020 at 7:49 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -Mississippi’s primary election day is less than a week away. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are on the hunt for delegates. Sanders has cancelled his plans for a Friday visit to Jackson just more than 24 hours out.

There is a historical point of reference if you look at Mississippi’s 2016 primary results. Hillary Clinton took 82.6 percent while Bernie Sanders received 16.5 percent.

“He may actually look at that and see it as a predictor of what might be to come," said Jackson State political science professor Dr. D’Andra Orey.

Orey says there’s another reason he believes this year’s results may mirror the last cycle’s.

“Clinton was very attached to Bill Clinton who was very popular in the African American community," noted Orey. "And then you have Barack Obama and Biden is very closely aligned with Barack Obama. And so if you use those I guess proxies, quite naturally African Americans being highly supportive of Barack Obama will align more so with Joe Biden.”

Joe Biden’s plans to visit the capital city are still in play. New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson tells us Biden will be in attendance at their Sunday morning service. And the campaign says Vivica A. Fox will campaign with Biden at an event later that afternoon.

“Momentum is a powerful factor in politics and the perception is now that he is on a roll,” said Dr. Glenn J. Antizzo, associate professor of political science at Mississippi College.

Because Mississippi Democrats don’t use a winner takes all system for delegates, there could still be delegates in play for Sanders. And if it’s a tight race...all will be significant.

“It seemed at first like Bernie Sanders was unstoppable but there has been a tectonic shift in the electoral plates here and it looks like Biden is coming out with guns blazing,” added Antizzo.

The latest Mason-Dixon polls show Republican Donald Trump winning out in a Mississippi match-up with either Biden or Sanders. But the contest narrows slightly more in a Trump vs. Biden race.

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