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Gov. Tate Reeves’ low poll numbers could embolden opposition in 2023

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Gov. Tate Reeves' low poll numbers could embolden opposition in 2023

A new Morning Consult poll had to grab the attention of House Speaker Philip Gunn and a few other prominent Mississippi .

The poll, conducted over a three-month period this summer, tagged Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves as the fifth most unpopular governor in the nation. Reeves had the approval of 48% of the respondents and a 42% disapproval.

Generally speaking, the nation's governors had positive rankings in the 50- poll. But Reeves was one of only eight governors whose popularity ranking was below 50%. Of the many Republican governors running for reelection within the next four years, Reeves ranks last in America.

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The poll had to provide a little positive energy for any politician thinking of challenging the governor. Various sources indicate that Gunn, who is in his third term as House speaker, has been considering whether to challenge Reeves in the 2023 Republican gubernatorial primary.

Gunn has refused to say what his plans are. If he was certain that he was running for reelection to his current House seat and then again to the speaker's post, he would make that abundantly clear. Such an early proclamation most likely would head off any challenges for both his seat and for his speaker's post. But Gunn has remained quiet on his future, leading to rampant speculation about who might be the future leader of the House.

Reeves, a first-term Republican governor, has consistently been near the bottom in terms of popularity in the ongoing Morning Consult polls.

Despite that, challenging the incumbent governor would be a daunting task. Reeves' sizable campaign war chest makes him a formidable incumbent even if he is near the bottom in a poll of the nation's governors.

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There are at least four statewide officeholders who are or have considered challenging Reeves.

First-term Secretary of State Michael Watson, when recently asked about his political plans, deferred and said he had not made a . Sources close to Watson say he's considering a 2023 bid against Reeves.

Lynn Fitch, fresh off her successful effort in ending a national right to an abortion, might never be in a better position to for governor. Mississippi Today reported earlier this year that Fitch, based on her advisers' counsel, has considered challenging Reeves in 2023.

Both State Auditor Shad White and Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson are also said to have considered a gubernatorial bid as they've coursed their political futures.

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The problem for any of these potential candidates in 2023, though, is that Reeves starts with a considerable advantage. The 48-year-old Reeves has been a statewide elected official for nearly all of his adult : two terms as treasurer, two terms as lieutenant governor and now a first term as governor.

That might explain some of his unpopularity as reflected in the Morning Consult poll. He says he has not shied away from telling people no and thus creating enemies. But more than his willingness to say no, perhaps what might contribute to any unpopularity is the perception of an eagerness to go out of his way to find confrontation.

If nothing else, though, Reeves has name recognition that can be advantageous on an election ballot. Politicians who conduct polls are always surprised to learn of the number of who do not know the speaker, secretary of state or other elected officials. But most do know the governor — especially one who has been on the statewide scene for two decades.

And more important than the name identification is Reeves' huge cash advantage. He has never run a race where he did not have a sizable campaign cash advantage.

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That will be the case in 2023. Based on the latest campaign finance reports, filed with the Secretary of State's office in January, Reeves has cash on hand of about $5 million. On the other hand, Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, who is viewed as the Democratic favorite for governor should he choose to run, has $520,000. Reports are that Presley has had strong fundraising efforts this year that will not be reflected on his campaign finance until January 2023.

Other statewide officials who might be viewed as possible challengers in a Republican primary are far behind Reeves in fundraising.

For example, as of January:

  • Watson had $351,026.
  • Fitch had $555,120.
  • White had $603,353.
  • Gipson had $87,800.

In terms of campaign cash, Gunn appears to be in the strongest position with $1 million. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann has $2.6 million, but has said he believes his current office is where he can have the greatest impact.

There will be three gubernatorial elections in 2023: Mississippi, and Kentucky. Reeves and Democrat Andy Beshear in normally Republican-dominated Kentucky are the two incumbents eligible to seek reelection.

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Beshear is among the top 10 most popular governors, according to the Morning Consult poll. But before people start arguing the poll has a partisan tilt, it should be pointed out that nine of the 10 most popular governors are Republican. And the three most popular represent states that generally are Democratic strongholds: Charlie Baker in , Phil Scott in Vermont and Larry Hogan in Maryland.

They all have reputations of not looking for fights.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Mississippi News

Teen wanted after one critically injured in Jackson shooting

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www.wjtv.com – Kaitlin Howell – 2024-03-02 21:44:55

SUMMARY: are searching for 17-year-old Cory Mitchell in connection to a shooting that critically a person. The incident occurred on March 1 in Jackson, Mississippi. Mitchell is wanted for aggravated assault and is considered armed and dangerous. Detective Tommie Brown identified Mitchell as the . The victim was transported to the hospital in critical . Anyone with information on Mitchell's whereabouts can contact the Jackson Police Department or Stoppers.

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Mississippi News

Spring has sprung in Columbus with Downtown Spring Open House

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www.wcbi.com – Kaitlyn Yeatman – 2024-03-02 21:37:32

SUMMARY: Columbus's annual Spring Open House took place on Saturday, March 2, organized by Main Street Columbus to bring traffic to local shops. The was successful in increasing business for storefronts like Hollyhocks and Southern Lux. New businesses in downtown also benefited from the event by gaining exposure to new customers. The open house not only supports local businesses but also provides a sense of community and fun for . Main Street Columbus various throughout the year to promote downtown and bring people together. Stay updated on upcoming events through their Facebook page.

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The post Spring has sprung in Columbus with Downtown Spring Open House appeared first on www.wcbi.com

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Monroe County Sheriff’s Office holds a part time police academy

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www.wcbi.com – Allie Martin – 2024-03-02 20:39:47

SUMMARY: Cadets at Class Four of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office go through a rigorous 307-hour part-time basic curriculum for Mississippi Enforcement . The training includes classroom sessions on law enforcement principles, stress management, and traffic crash investigation. Physical training, taser training, is also a regular component of the academy. The cadets, who work full-time during the day, are motivated by various reasons, such as personal inspiration or professional advancement. The training is aimed at producing well-trained and effective part-time officers for the community.

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The post Monroe County Sheriff's Office holds a part time police academy appeared first on www.wcbi.com

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