Poll: Democrat Jim Hood leads in the race to become Mississippi’s next governor

Nearly two years out, a poll finds that Mississippi’s only statewide elected Democrat is leading Mississippi’s Republican lieutenant governor
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Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood – a Democrat – is leading Mississippi Lt. Governor Tate Reeves – a Republican – in the race to become Mississippi’s next governor in 2019.
Hood, who has served as Mississippi’s attorney general since 2003, leads Reeves by five points, 43-37, in a poll conducted last week by Mason Dixon Polling & Strategy. Twenty percent say they’re undecided. Hood wins 80 percent of Democrats, 14 percent of Republicans, and leads among independent voters 38-33. Hood’s lead is thanks in large part to heavy support from African Americans.
Mississippi won’t vote for a new governor for nearly two years – in November 2019. Still, Hood’s early lead is striking because Mississippi hasn’t elected a Democrat to the governor’s mansion since 1999, when voters elected Ronnie Musgrove. Musgrove lost his bid for a second term to Haley Barbour in 2003. Today, Hood is Mississippi’s only statewide elected Democratic officeholder.
It’s possible that, should Hood decide to run, he may face someone other Reeves, such as Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Houseman, a moderate Republican. Conventional wisdom says that Gov. Phil Bryant’s lieutenant governor will be the Republican nominee for governor (Bryant was Barbour’s lieutenant governor), but elections in recent years have had a habit of producing unexpected results, from the ascendency of Donald Trump to Democrat Doug Jones’ shocking U.S. Senate victory in Mississippi’s sister state of Alabama.
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Right now, Reeves would lead Mississippi State Treasurer Lynn Fitch in a Republican primary 37-18, but a whopping 45 percent of Republicans are undecided.
To complicate matters for Reeves, Governor Bryant’s approval rating has taken a hit, the Mason Dixon Poll finds. In March of 2016, Bryant’s 68

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