OUR OPINION: No battleground, but votes still count

By NEMS Daily Journal

Mississippi isn’t likely to surprise anyone when votes are cast for president on Nov. 6. This state has been considered solidly in the Republican camp, and the heavy odds are that Mitt Romney will get its six electoral votes.
No Democratic candidate for president has carried Mississippi since Jimmy Carter in 1976, and he was the first in 20 years.
So we’re obviously not among the battleground states this year, either for the presidency or for control of the U.S. Senate, which is a tightly-contested national battle as the GOP seeks to wrestle a majority of that chamber away from the Democrats.
One of Mississippi’s two U.S. senators, Roger Wicker of Tupelo, is up for re-election but is heavily favored, as a story on today’s front page notes. Thad Cochran next faces voters in 2014, and he has not yet announced whether he will seek another term.
The more competitive race is for U.S. House, where Republican Alan Nunnelee seeks a second term in Congress and is challenged by Democrat Brad Morris and three minor party candidates. While the district briefly had a Democratic congressman, Travis Childers, in recent years, Nunnelee is the frontrunner in this year’s race.
The Morris-Nunnelee race has been a serious and informative presentation of differing ideas and policy positions, and both candidates have conducted themselves on a high plain, considering the pitfalls of modern-day campaigns. Last week’s Nunnelee-Morris debate at the University of Mississippi was a civil affair.
While the presidential and congressional races aren’t as seemingly close in Mississippi as in some other states, the votes still have to be counted and anything can happen. There’s all the reason in the world to get out to vote on Nov. 6, whatever your persuasion.
Northeast Mississippians have the important additional responsibility of choosing a new Mississippi Supreme Court Justice. The candidates are Richard “Flip” Phillips of Batesville and Josiah Coleman of Toccopola. And there are school board races scattered around the region as well.
Don’t be lulled into complacency or discouragement, depending on your point of view. Exercise the most fundamental responsibility of citizenship on Nov. 6 – go to the polls and vote.