Mississippi Today’s Bobby Harrison: Brandon Presley could have one advantage in governor's race: the issues
A new column from Mississippi Today’s Bobby Harrison highlights a defining advantage Brandon Presley has in the governor’s race: the issues.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 20, 2023
Nettleton, MS – A new column from Mississippi Today’s Bobby Harrison highlights a defining advantage Brandon Presley has in the governor’s race: the issues.
Mississippians overwhelmingly support expanding Medicaid, cutting the grocery tax, and fully funding public education - all issues Tate Reeves opposes. Reeves has spent his time opposing popular, common-sense measures that would improve the lives of Mississippi families and that’s why he is “unusually vulnerable for a red-state Republican.”
Read more below:
Mississippi Today: Brandon Presley could have one advantage in governor’s race: the issues
March 19, 2023
Four years later there’s a new Democratic nominee, but the emerging issues feel the same going into the 2023 election. Democrat Brandon Presley, like Hood, supports expanding Medicaid to provide health care coverage for primarily the working poor, supports eliminating the state’s sales tax on groceries and champions fully funding public education.
Reeves still opposes expanding Medicaid, would rather cut the income tax than the tax on groceries and has spoken derisively about recent legislative efforts to fully fund public education.
In 2019, Reeves won by 5% — 52% to 47%. What is different in 2023? Is it the same song, different verse, game over for the 2023 election?
Perhaps. But a breadth of recent polling indicates that on the issues — and solely on the issues — the Democrat wins.
A poll earlier this year by Siena College Research Institute, commissioned by Mississippi Today, revealed 80% support for Medicaid expansion where health care coverage is provided for the working poor with the federal government paying the bulk of the cost. If that is not convincing enough, a second more recent poll by Siena and Mississippi Today found 75% support for expanding Medicaid.
Siena is documented by the FiveThirtyEight Blog, a reputable blog for its data analysis, as being perhaps the best pollster in the nation.
A Siena poll also found 79% support for fully funding the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which provides the bulk of state funding for the basic needs of schools — needs like teachers, textbooks, buses and water and lights.
Cutting or eliminating Mississippi’s 7% tax on groceries, the highest tax in the nation, is also more popular than eliminating the income tax, according to the Siena poll.
Perhaps there are other issues more important to Mississippians than the aforementioned issues that were polled by Siena. But it is hard to imagine issues like education, health care and taxes are not way up on everyone’s lists.
To try to make electoral history, Presley will attempt to connect his campaign to the issues of health care, education and taxes rather than those issues that Reeves will want to talk about — those issues associated with national Democrats.
If he can do that, he might have a chance.
But Presley may have at least one distinct advantage in the race: the issues.
Brandon Presley is a fighter who keeps his promises, stands up for the little guy, and isn't afraid to ruffle more than a few feathers to deliver results for hardworking Mississippi families. Brandon served as Mayor of Nettleton from 2001 to 2007, where he balanced the budget every year, cut taxes twice, and got the town moving again. As Public Service Commissioner, Brandon opened up meetings that had been closed to the public for decades, brought high-speed internet to some of the most remote and forgotten parts of Mississippi, put people back to work with the Hire Mississippi program, and saved taxpayers over 6 billion dollars.