CNN has called Mississippi for Barack Obama.
Blacks, who have supported Obama in overwhelming numbers in earlier primaries, accounted for roughly half the ballots cast in Mississippi, according to interviews with voters leaving polling places. Nearly one in five Democratic primary voters called himself an independent. About one in 10 was Republican. (Associated Press)
Mississippi has no registration by party so voters can choose which primary to vote in. Not surprisingly, the exit poll found turnout was more than twice as high in the competitive Democratic primary between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama than in the Republican primary, where John McCain has clinched the nomination. Nearly one in five Democratic primary voters called themselves independent and about one in 10 were Republican. Democrats and independents combined were about 10 percent of voters in the GOP contest. (Associated Press)
Turnout so-so as Miss. voters pull levers: A close race between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama will draw more voters to the polls today than the last presidential primary, state officials predict.... "We shouldn't be fooling in (the Democrats') business ... because we've got enough to deal with," said Herring, adding that crossover voting also would hinder a two-party system that political leaders have tried to foster.
A federal judge ruled last year that Mississippians re-register to vote by party affiliation. Or, he said voters could register as unaffiliated with any party. His decision came after Mississippi Democrats filed a lawsuit seeking to bar Republicans from voting in Democratic primaries. The 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals is reviewing the decision. (Clarion Ledger)
The Republican/Independent/White Vote: There's another reason to doubt that Obama could put Mississippi, which voted for Bush 60-40 over Kerry in 2004, into play this November: racial polarization. "Anything in Mississippi that would so animate black voters would probably have the effect of animating white voters in the opposite direction," Bositis told me back in November. The pre-primary polls suggest that he's right. Obama typically loses white voters to Clinton by five to 20 points; in the latest InsiderAdvantage survey, he loses by 53. Similarly, Obama's traditional edge among Republicans and Independents--often two- or three-to-one--is reduced in the poll to deficits of 68-29 percent and 53-23, respectively. And this is among likely Democratic primary voters. Needless to say, such "Deep South" margins don't bode well for Obama's chances with the general electorate, which was 47 percent Republican and 63 percent white in 2004. It'll be interesting to see if they hold up tonight--and possibly help Clinton finish stronger than expected. (Newsweek)