Mississippi Republican Primary Runoffs – August 25, 2015

There is voting on Tuesday in Mississippi, with a handful of runoffs for both parties after statewide primary elections on August 4th.  On the Republican side, there are runoffs for:

  • Public Service Commissioner from the Southern District
  • State Senate District #18 and #47
  • State House District #24, #46, and #87

Here is a detailed listing of all Republican primary runoffs held in Mississippi over the last three cycles, that is, since 2003:

Mississippi Republican Party runoff elections since 2003

Some quick thoughts:

  • The number of votes cast in GOP Mississippi runoffs has averaged 65% of the amount of votes cast in the primary, but I think Tuesday’s results will be substantially below that figure.  Neither party will have a runoff for a statewide office on Tuesday, meaning turnout will be driven solely by the local races.  I expect the number of votes cast to average about 50% of what was cast in the primaries.
  • Since 2003, the candidate who finished second in the primary won his or her runoff just 6 times out of 17 elections, or 35%.  If one looks at just the State Senate and State House contests, the numbers are remarkably the same, as the candidate who was second in those primaries won the runoff 5 times out of 14, or 36%.
  • There is a strong relationship between the number of candidates in the Republican primary, and whether the winner of the primary went on to win the runoff.  Since 2003, when there were three candidates in the primary, the candidate who finished second only won the Runoff once in nine instances.  However, when there were four candidates in the primary, the candidate who finished second ended up winning the Runoff five times in eight occurrences.  If this relationship persists in 2015, it benefits Mark Forsman in Senate District #18, Mike Tyson in Senate District #47, and Rob Goudy in House District #24, all of whom finished second in their four-candidate primaries three weeks ago.

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