Just how super will Tuesday be for the Miss-Lou?

Published 11:35 pm Saturday, February 2, 2008

NATCHEZ — As Super Tuesday approaches, the line between the red and the blue will become more and more well defined, and as early as Tuesday night America could have clear contenders for the race for the presidency.

Every vote counts?

University of Mississippi’s Director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government, Marty Wiseman, said depending on Tuesday’s outcome, Mississippi may or may not play an important role in the primary election.

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“It all depends on if we get a clear winner on Tuesday,” he said.

If Tuesday does yield a specific candidate, primary votes from Mississippi on March 11 will have no weight.

“Now if there’s no clear outcome on Tuesday, things in Mississippi get a whole lot more interesting.”

Wiseman said if no clear winner emerges from Tuesday’s election, then the primary in Mississippi will carry more weight.

Wiseman specifically mentioned Barack Obama.

Wiseman said since Mississippi has the highest population of black people in the nation they could provide an excellent boost for Obama.

And while Wiseman could not offer a guess as to that would be the next president, he seems to be in line with much of the undecided voting populous.

Choices, choices, choices.

Braxton Fondren, 18, said he falls into the undecided voter category.

“No one person has everything I’m looking for,” he said.

This election will be Fondren’s first opportunity to vote for president.

While Fondren said he will likely vote for a Republican, none of the candidates have stood out to him as a clear choice.

“I’ll be putting some serious thought into it,” he said.

Local Carrol Huff said while he, too, normally votes Republican, he has not seen any standout candidates.

“I’m not too particular about anyone of them yet,” he said.

Two people who said they were registered Democrats would actually consider voting for John McCain.

Raymond Baker was one of those people.

“I think he (McCain) has the experience that this country needs right now,” he said.

The political machine.

When the primary polls close on March 11 in Mississippi, the winner will take all of the state’s delegates.

But in Louisiana, two different processes will be used, neither of them winner-take-all.

The Louisiana Democratic Party has been allotted 67 delegates and nine alternates at the national convention, Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Danny Ford said.

After the Feb. 9 presidential preference primary, the state party will plug the results into a formula to determine how many delegates a candidate will receive.

However, a candidate must garner at least 15 percent of the vote to receive any delegates, Ford said.

And even though they may have officially dropped out of the race, some candidates will remain on the ballot.

“It is possible that John Edwards will receive some votes,” Ford said. “His name is on the ballot because he already qualified (in Louisiana).”

The Louisiana Democratic Party will have elections for voting delegates by congressional districts March 1.

For the Louisiana Republican Party, however, the election process is much less direct.

At the national convention, 47 delegates and 44 alternates will represent the state. The state convention — which will be Feb. 16 — will choose the delegates.

All of those delegates will be technically uncommitted — which means they will be allowed to vote for whomever they choose.

If a presidential candidate does garner more than 50 percent of the vote, however, 20 of the state’s at-large delegates are required to vote for that candidate at the national convention.

Vidalia resident Susan Rabb campaigned to be a delegate at the state convention to unofficially support the John McCain campaign.

“Technically everybody is an uncommitted delegate, but you can take a stand and say who you are committed to,” Rabb said.

Because all of the delegates are uncommitted, those who supported a certain candidate voted for people who supported that same candidate. At the state convention, those delegates would vote for delegates to the national convention who support the same candidate.

The Republican National Convention is Sept. 1-4 in Minneapolis.

The general Presidential election is Nov. 4.