The Bulwark does a piece on Brandon Presley, who is running for Mississippi Governor…..
Presley IS a Democrat…..
BRANDON PRESLEY IS NOT INTERESTED in your Yankee bullshit.
Amid the stretch run of his shockingly competitive gubernatorial bid, he called me as his car headed north from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to the Tennessee line. He was quick to explain how it was that his improbable campaign has gotten this far. “I’m a Merle Haggard, cowboy boot–wearing Democrat. I’m not a national Metropolitan Opera Democrat . . . and there’s a big difference.”
Maintaining this essential differentness is the minimum ante for Democratic politicians who want to be successful in the deep red Deep South, and with six days to go until the off-year election, Presley is at the table.
Last week the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) released an internal pollthat showed Presley just one point behind incumbent governor Tate Reeves. The DGA has put its money where its mouth is, pumping significant resources into the race as part of a late surge that has resulted in Presley outraising Reeves nearly 4 to 1 in the last three months of the campaign.
I wanted to get a sense for why the Presley campaign has a pulse at all—especially because I’m sitting across the border in Louisiana, where the Democrats’ hopes died a few weeks back when insurrectionist Republican Jeff Landry won the governorship in the first round of our state’s jungle primary, having garnered over 50 percent of the vote.
What I discovered is that the contrast between Presley’s differentness as a candidate and the crushing, clichéd sameness of Mississippi’s corrupt incumbent Gov. Tate Reeves is the reason this campaign has politics as usual in the state all shook up.
And regardless of whether the result leads to victory, there is much that can be learned about how candidates who don’t sing in the tune of the national party’s contralto can overperform in unexpected places….