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Monday, August 11, 2008

Greg Davis Resurfaces

After we noted his conspicuous absence last week, the GOP's candidate for the MS-01 seat comes out of hiding, with a mea culpa and a new "underdog" vibe and everything:
He's reorganizing his staff, apologizing for the tone of previous campaigns and hoping a higher turnout boosts the GOP's chances of reclaiming northeast Mississippi's 1st Congressional District in November.

But political analysts say it'll be a challenge for Southaven Mayor Greg Davis to topple Travis Childers, the former Prentiss County chancery clerk whose victory in a May runoff re-energized Democrats on the state and national level.

"We'll be outspent," said Davis, who reported $53,916 in cash on hand as of June 30 compared to Childers' $160,976. "We will not be outworked. We're moving full steam ahead."

Analysts say there are other issues working against Davis, including lukewarm support from the GOP and a past campaign viewed as too negative. The National Republican Congressional Committee poured money into the runoff, but a NRCC spokesman said the group is not currently involved and would not say whether that will change.

Davis, 42, "must overcome the disappointment a lot of Republicans had in the nature of his last race ... there's a sense of 'Been there, done that, we'll run a better candidate two years from now,' " said John Bruce, a political science professor at the University of Mississippi.

Brad White, the state's incoming Republican party chairman, said the party will help push voters to the polls for Davis and other GOP candidates.

"I'm not betting my house on it, but I believe it's extremely doable," he said of Davis' chances...

...But supporters of Childers don't seem overly worried. Childers, 50, has not intensified his campaign since winning the right to serve the final months of a term vacated by Roger Wicker, a Republican appointed to replace Trent Lott in the Senate. The November election will determine who replaces Wicker in January for a full two-year term. The seat had been held by a Republican for 14 years before Childers' win.

Wicker faces former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat, in November to determine who will serve the last four years of a six-year term Lott began in January 2007.

Brad Morris, Childers' chief of staff, said Childers is "focused on doing the job he was elected to do. There are still votes ahead in Congress in September. When his work is done, he'll turn his attention to the campaign." [...]

...Voter turnout was mixed in the district that also includes Oxford, Booneville, Tupelo, Columbus, Bruce and Iuka. Davis said according to his campaign's post-election analysis, many Republicans didn't vote.

A higher turnout could help him in November, he said. But Bruce said higher turnout probably will help Childers more.

"The higher turnout will likely be Obama supporters," Bruce said, referring to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Analysts predict his popularity among African Americans will help down-ticket races in Mississippi, because more than half of Democratic voters in the state are African American.

Davis, who tried to link his opponent with Obama before, said he's apologizing to voters for "the mud."

Some say his attacks against GOP opponent Glenn McCullough in the race's primary turned off Republicans.

"We promise our campaign will be based on votes and issues and the differences between us," he said
So he's going to campaign on issues? What is he, some kind of godless, commie pinko liberal?

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