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:
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.
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.
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.