Mississippi HD #89 & #106 Special Election Runoffs – Nov. 29, 2016

As I noted yesterday on Twitter, there are runoffs today for 2 southern Mississippi State House seats for which Special Elections were held on November 8th.  Special elections in MS are officially non-partisan, but the candidates in both cases are conservative so the seats won’t change parties.

I don’t expect much suspense in HD #89.  Physician Donnie Scoggin took 47% 3 weeks ago and has been endorsed by the 3rd-place finisher.  Unless his showing was driven by high general election turnout, he should win today’s runoff.

However, the HD #106 race is much more interesting. The top two finishers were separated by 250 votes on Nov. 8th, as seen below:

hd-106-special-election-results

Usually in multi-candidate fields, one can sometimes assess the runoff by looking at whom the other candidates have endorsed.  Here, the 5th-place finisher, Daniel Wise, seems to have endorsed the runner-up, attorney Greg Holcomb.

The votes for former Lumberton Mayor Ben Winston, who was 4th, seems highly correlated w/ Clinton’s support, suggesting Dem voters.

hd-106-correlation-winston-and-clinton

It seems much of his support is predominantly Democratic voters in the district who probably won’t participate in today’s runoff between two conservatives.

Finally, I don’t know if 3rd-place finisher Larry D. Davis, who got 20%, endorsed either runoff candidate. My E-mail to him hasn’t yet been answered.

I compared the Special Election vote share by precinct for the top 3 finishers (Corley, Holcomb, Davis). There wasn’t much correlation, but it seems noteworthy that in the 4 precincts won by Davis, Holcomb was 3rd in each. (and a rather distant 3rd in three of the four at that).  That suggests to me that Davis voters would tend toward Corley.

hd-106-correlation-top-3-finishers

Balancing the geographical tendency of Davis voters towards Corley against Wise’s explicit endorsement of Holcomb suggests a very tight runoff.  If forced, I’d give a slight edge to Holcomb.  And obviously, turnout will be very low.  The 2 other Special Election runoffs in Mississippi this year saw fewer than 2000 votes cast.  And on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, even that seems too high.  I wouldn’t be surprised if today saw only 1,500 votes in each runoff.

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