Texas Liberal

All People Matter

History Of The Mississippi Primary

 

In a state never swift to embrace democracy for all, the Mississippi presidential primary has a brief history.

It was not until 1988 that a real two-party presidential primary was held in Mississippi.

In 2008, the Mississippi primary will be held March 11.

Just over 2.9 million people live in Mississippi.  61% are white and 36% are black. That is the highest percentage of black people of any state in the nation.

Here are some basic facts about Mississippi.

In 2004, George W. Bush won Mississippi 59%-40%.

For many years Mississippi was a one-party Democratic Solid South state that used a whites-only primary.

Here is one link about the white primary.

Here is another.

The great Fannie Lou Hamer  (photo above) led the fight for an integrated Mississippi Democratic Party at the 1964 Democratic convention in Atlantic City.

She had some success, but this was one event of many during the Civil Rights era that led many–though not all–white citizens of Mississippi to join the Republican party.

In 2004, Mississippi whites voted for George W. Bush by 85%-14%. Blacks voted for John Kerry 90%-10%.

( President George W. Bush.)

With the Republican party in control of much of Mississippi–though Democrats still control the state House of Representatives—it could be argued that the Republican primary is an updated white primary.

A difference is that black people are legally allowed to vote in the Republican primary. It’s just that they have little reason to want to do so.

The winner of the first Democratic presidential primary, held on Super Tuesday 1988, was Jesse Jackson. He beat Al Gore 45%-35%. Mike Dukakis ran a distant third.

This was great progress for Mississippi. But it also showed that many Mississippi whites had become Republicans.

(Please click here for a history of Super Tuesday.)

(Jesse Jackson in 1983)

In 1992 George H.W. Bush, and in 1996 Bob Dole, won easy Republican victories over candidates that ran from the right.

Pat Buchanan ran poorly in both ’92 and ’96.

David Duke gave it a shot in 1996.

He was rejected by Republican voters.

Again, on one hand this was progress. Yet on the other hand, it reflected a mainstream Republican party that white voters felt comfortable with on issues of race.

2000 and 2004 produced unremarkable results in Mississippi. Republicans did not hold a primary in 2004 since President George W. Bush was the certain nominee.

Please click here for other political history posts on Texas Liberal. 

(The Largemouth Bass is the official fish of Mississippi.)

March 7, 2008 - Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the photo and mention of Fannie Lou Hamer. She is a hero of mine.

    Comment by jobsanger | March 7, 2008

  2. Always excellent to here from you. I’d advise anyone reading the comments to here to click the link on jobanger’s name so that they can read a very good Texas blog.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | March 8, 2008

  3. went to comment on jobsanger post and you need his/her permission? sorry cant be censored.

    Comment by bill brady | March 12, 2008

  4. No..He’s a very good guy. Many bloggers hold comments until they post them. Often the reason is spam as much as anything else. Also the case that blogger can be away from blog for many hours or days and you don’t want racial words or such bad stuff on blog until you are able to delete it.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | March 12, 2008

  5. thanks for the blogger point of veiw. jobsanger not that you care or maybe you do i will visit your blog soon,

    Comment by bill brady | April 8, 2008


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