Some surprising news out of Mississippi. This year’s governor’s race is officially competitive.

As GOP Governor Tate Reeves gears up to run for his second term, the polls against his opponent, Brandon Presley, shows a shockingly close race.

Democrat Brandon Presley has a decent pedigree, being a former small town mayor and current member of a statewide public services commission. He’s made rural access to broadband a centerpiece of his work. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s a member of Mississippi royalty. He’s the second cousin of legendary singer Elvis Presley.

Reeves has been popular on economic issues, but his approval ratings have consistently been low. He’s been singled out for his mismanagement of the water crisis in Jackson. Flooding caused a water treatment plant there to stop working and stop treating water to make it acceptable to drink. While a federal emergency was declared, Reeves proclaimed a handful of months later that the water was safe to drink, and the emergency decree was lifted. Residents disagree, saying the water even currently is undrinkable.

And Reeves has Brett Favre to thank as well should he fall short of re-election. Showing, at the very least, shocking lack of oversight, Favre got 5 million dollars of cash allocated for welfare for renovations for his daughter’s college, the University of Southern Mississippi. Ostensibly it was to benefit the state, but the cash went to improve their volleyball court, specifically. Favre’s daughter was a member of the volleyball team. After a state attorney began investigating the issue, Reeves fired him, saying his efforts were “too political”.

Reeves has reason to worry. The general trend seems to be heading towards Democrat. The GOP governor before him got 66% of the vote in 2015. In 2019, Reeves got just 52% of the vote in his first bid. And this was before the two big scandals.

The three polls released about the race have a seven point spread, maximum. The most recent one released by Mason-Dixon this week has Reeves at 46% to Presley’s 39%. Another poll had Presley beating Reeves, with Presley at 47% and Reeves at 43%. Another poll had Reeves up four points from Presley

And if Presley wins this year, expect Dems to see Mississippi as one of the outside shot states up for grabs in the presidential race. Just remember, neither Georgia nor Arizona were on anyone’s radar as being particularly competitive. Valuetainment will be following this race closely for you.



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