I voted in the runoff today at 7:03AM CDT. I lingered on for an hour at the Crest Park polling place, since I knew some of the ladies working the polls. I serve as a city election commissioner and all the ladies lived in Pearl. We talked city politics and what was going on in the city. When I left an hour later, I was still the only voter. Because he was pro-life, I voted for Erik Fleming. I called and e-mail Bill Bowlin as to where he stood on abortion and I never got an answer.
In the last primary, only fourteen people voted in the Crest Park box. I was the second one to have voted and two more voted when I left. In Rankin county, only 814 people voted. There were some boxes where nobody even came to vote, such as the Antioch box. In the North Pearson box, only one person voted--at 5:30PM (The polls close at 7PM.)! In the Crossgates box, which is a very strong Republican precinct, only six people voted. In the two Castlewoods boxes, another solidly GOP area, only twenty-six voted. And in the two Reservoir boxes, which are solidly Republican, only eighteen voted. It was only in the black boxes where there was an appreciable voter turnout, such as Cato (38 voted), Dry Creek (29), Johns (23), Mullins (28), Monterey (49), Northeast Brandon (37), West Brandon (47) and South Pearson (53).
Erik Fleming, the only black in the race, won the county with 53.808% of the vote. I expect him to easily carry it in the runoff. He's a state representative from Clinton, which is in Hinds County and borders Rankin. In the general election, he'll get about 25% of the vote against the incumbent Senator Trent Lott.
In the first primary, the statewide vote was 104846. Erik Fleming took 44.05% of the vote. I think he'll get about 70% in the runoff. I expect only about 40000-50000 votes in the runoff. What could throw a monkey wrench in my prediction is there is a runoff in CD1, which is in Bowlin's stomping grounds. In the first primary, the big contest was in CD2, where 83.6% of the vote was cast and that was Fleming's stomping grounds. If there is a big turnout in CD1 and a very low turnout in the rest of the state, Bowlin could pull out a narrow win. But black voters are the majority of the Democratic primary voters and they may vote for Fleming because he is black.
Bowlin would be a stronger candidate against Lott. The reason is not racial, but political. Fleming has been connected to political cookoo Lyndon LaRouche in LaRouche's past campaigns. That will hurt him against Lott. Bowlin has no political baggage other than running two losing races for Congress (CD1) as a Republican. He switched parties some time go because he was angry at the GOP for wanting total control of the state and Federal government (Well, so do the Democrats. Isn't that what the party system is all about?).
We'll know more tonight around 9PM.