A gubernatorial race may be more than a year away and no official campaigns have been announced, but that hasn’t stopped polls from beginning to trickle out.
In the most recent poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy, 44% of Mississippi voters said that they would support Attorney General Jim Hood (D), while 37% of voters would back Lt. Governor Tate Reeves (R) and 17% were left undecided.
When asked about the poll, Hood said that the numbers show a potential shift in the mindset of Mississippi voters.
“I think the polls reflect what the people are thinking now. They realize that all of these tax cuts were great, but when they went to out-of-state corporations, because 78% went to these out-of-state corporations, they didn’t help Mississippi businesses or Mississippians,” Hood explained.
The Attorney General went on to discuss what he believes is an issue facing legislation in the state. He noted that campaign contributions to legislatures have begun to influence policy decisions which negatively affects the people of Mississippi.
“It’s affecting our policy. They’re writing our laws, and they’ve taken control of our state government, and I think the polls show that people are sick of it,” Hood said.
In addition to the statewide numbers, the poll shows that Hood runs strong among women (49%-37%), with black voters (84%-4%), those under the age of 50 (45%-36%) and those who identify as Democrats (82%-7%). He also leads among Independents (41%-33%).
Reeves is ahead with men (41%-38%), whites (57%-24%), and Republicans (71%- 12%).
For the poll, a total of 625 registered Mississippi voters from all 82 Counties in the state were interviewed by telephone. According to the poll, all of those who participated said that they vote regularly in state elections.
The poll also included a +/- margin of 4 points.
Hood says that before he makes anything final regarding a run, he wants to ensure that it is the right decision for his family. He mentioned that he continues to consult with his wife because of the toll that a campaign can take, especially with the increased exposure from social media. With that being said, it appears Hood is on a path toward a campaign.
“I’m doing all I can to raise money and prepare in the event that my wife finally decides that a Governor race is something that we need to do,” Hood said. “I’m doing everything I can to get ready for it, so we’ll see.”
Reeves seemingly responded to the recent poll numbers in short tweet in which he referenced a lot of polls that were proven wrong on November 6, 2017.
“Remember when Hillary Clinton was predicted to win Mississippi…,” Reeves tweeted.
After the conclusion of the 2018 legislative session, Reeves and Hood traded jabs regarding lawmakers’ failure to pass an infrastructure plan, a reform for public education funding or funding increases for mental health services in the state. Reeves responded to Hood’s comments by stating that the Attorney General has a reliance on raising a gas tax or other taxes on Mississippians which Reeves has traditionally opposed.
While the election may not be this year, the rhetoric appears to be ramping up for a long campaign cycle.