National pundits are right. It is a two-man contest.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are in Mississippi on Monday as they have been previously. John Kasich was in Jackson last week. Marco Rubio was scheduled to be in Rankin County on Sunday but that visit was cancelled so Rubio could go home to focus on Florida. It won’t do Rubio any good. The smaller number of states voting this past Saturday perhaps had more influence on the race for the Republican nomination than the results of Super Tuesday on March 1. In The Daily 202 political report on Sunday morning, writer James Hohmann had the following headline: “Super Saturday results show Rubio collapsing, Trump stoppable and Cruz gaining momentum.” Hohmann writes, “The biggest story line out of last night, though, is calamity for Marco Rubio. It was his worst showing since the New Hampshire primary – and arguably more damaging. The floor appears to be falling out from underneath the Florida senator: Not only is his win-loss record now 1-18, but he took just 17 percent in Kansas despite canceling events elsewhere to campaign in the state and receiving endorsements from Gov. Sam Brownback, Sen. Pat Roberts and Bob Dole. He got 16 percent in Kentucky, 11 percent in Louisiana (with ex-Gov. Bobby Jindal’s support) and just 8 percent in Maine—where he finished fourth behind John Kasich.” I agree. Sunday morning I also heard one commentator say that he liked Rubio and named a number of very number of positive things about Rubio as a candidate. He then added that for some reason Republican voters just don’t like Rubio. That is also very true. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is another matter. Despite a very impressive list of endorsements from prominent and respected Mississippi Republicans, led by well-liked Congressman Gregg Harper, Kasich is not going anywhere. Why can’t Kasich do the classy thing and end his campaign like Jeb Bush did when he finished fourth in South Carolina? As someone commented Sunday to me, Kasich is “delusional.” Like most politicians Kasich has a big ego, but from my almost two decades in Washington, D.C., during the time when Kasich was a member of the U.S. House, I have always viewed Kasich as someone who not only thinks he is smarter than anyone else, he also thinks everyone else except him is stupid. Trump should thank Kasich every day for staying in the race. Kasich should have called it quits like 13 others who were in the original GOP field. Like Rubio in Florida, Kasich is
Vote “NO” on Initiative 42
Except for the seriousness of the issue, the actions by supporters of Initiative 42 would almost be laughable. The 42 supporters wrap themselves in a cloak of self-righteousness. You would almost think they are transporting the Holy Grail and any opponents of 42 are nothing more than heathens and barbarians. In a word, passage of 42 would be very bad for Mississippi from several aspects. There are plenty of reasons to oppose 42. The best reasons are in a column last Sunday by Clarion.Ledger political editor Geoff Pender and an earlier syndicated column by Sid Salter. Pender is one of what is unfortunately just a handful of first-rate journalists in Mississippi while Salter, who now has a PR position at Mississippi State, had a long career as one of the state’s very best journalists. Pender, Salter and others have made a solid case against 42. The most publicized debate between a proponent and opponent of 42 came almost two weeks ago before an audience at Capital Press Club sponsored by the Stennis Institute of Government. Speaking in support of 42 was attorney Jim Keith of the Adams and Reese law firm. Opposing 42 was House Speaker Pro-Tem Greg Snowden of Meridian. Despite my bias against 42, I think Rep. Snowden clearly bested Keith in the debate. Keith started his comments by saying he was a conservative Republican. If that is the case, being one of the more public and vocal 42 supporters, Keith has jumped into a political bed with trial lawyers, Democrats and other liberals. Keith also mentioned his friendship with Republican House Speaker Phillip Gunn and other prominent Republican legislative leaders. A few months ago Keith commented to someone, not from Mississippi, that he had breakfast with Speaker Gunn and their relationship was fine. That’s a little odd since at about the same time a North Mississippi newspaper reported comments by Keith saying Gunn and Lt. Governor Tate Reeves are not friends of pubic education. Keith represents the Mississippi School Board Association and many school districts in the state. With his very prominent and visible role supporting 42 and being the lead attorney in a lawsuit against the Mississippi Legislature, it would not be a stretch to speculate that on any legislative matters wanted by Keith and his clients, the issues would be DOA in the Mississippi Senate and probably the House as well.
Mike Hurst within striking distance of upsetting Jim Hood
Other than the vote on Initiative 42, the most closely watched statewide race is Republican Mike Hurst’s challenge of incumbent Jim Hood. While the odds still favor Hood winning