Overview and Live Results: Mississippi Primary

Tuesday is primary day in Mississippi.  The GOP primary for Lieutenant Governor looks like the most interesting race we're following. Overview and results below.

Ohio Issue 1:  Separately, voters in Ohio will vote on an amendment to the State Constitution. It is drawing a lot of attention. See our separate article for more information and live results

Mississippi Primary

Polls close at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. In primaries where no candidate gets a majority, the top two finishers will have a runoff on August 29.

Winners will advance to the November 7 general election.


Incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is seeking a second term. He has drawn two primary challengers, but is expected to easily win renomination.

Brandon Presley is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Presley, a member of the Public Service Commission (and second cousin of Elvis) is seen as a credible general election candidate. There hasn't been any recent public polling, but several surveys earlier in the year showed Reeves with a single-digit lead. Presley will have to overcome the deep red lean of the state; most forecasters rate the race 'Likely Republican' as of now.

One thing Presley won't have to deal with in November is an electoral college-like provision in the State Constitution, repealed by voters in 2020. Under that law, candidates for statewide office needed to win the overall popular vote AND the popular vote in a majority of the state's 122 House districts. If a candidate failed to do both, the election would be decided by the State House.

Lieutenant Governor

In Mississippi, the election for lieutenant governor is separate from that for governor. Unlike the gubernatorial race, the GOP primary for lieutenant has become hotly-contested.

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann is being challenged from the right by State Sen. Chris McDaniel. McDaniel previously ran for U.S. Senate in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, he came close to ousting incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R); narrowly losing in a runoff. 

The only public poll of the race, conducted in early June, found Hosemann ahead by 47% to 32%.

Notably, Gov. Reeves has declined to endorse Hosemann; he has picked up endorsements from both of the state's U.S. Senators. McDaniel has been endorsed by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.  

The winner will be favored in the general election against Democrat Ryan Grover.

State Senate

Republicans dominate the Mississippi State Senate, holding 36 of 52 seats. There are 15 Democrats and one independent. Members serve four-year terms.

State House

Republicans also have a large majority in the Mississippi House of Representatives. The party controls 77 seats, with 40 Democrats and 3 independents. There are two vacancies.  Members serve four-year terms.

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