Less than 100 years ago, Mississippi was one of the most Democratic states in the country. In 1936, Republican presidential candidate Alf Landon received a pitiful 3 percent of the vote there; indeed no Republican received more than 20 percent of the vote in Mississippi from 1892 through 1948 (when Tom Dewey again received 3 percent). From 1903 through 1971, the state failed to elect a single Republican state legislator. Obviously those days have long since passed, and the state is reliably Republican today. The state Senate is controlled by the GOP, three of the four House seats are Republican, and both Senate seats are Republican. For the first time since Reconstruction, the state House of Representatives is also controlled by Republicans.
In 2008, Democrats believed they might have a shot at the seat of retiring Sen. Trent Lott. In the end, though, appointed Sen. Roger Wicker defeated a strong Democratic challenger by a solid 55-45 percent margin, despite the generally poor environment for Republicans nationally. Wicker is up again this year for the opportunity to serve a full term. Democrats have fielded Albert Gore Jr., to run against him, but unfortunately it is not the former vice president; it is a former county chair of the Democratic Party.