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 elect Republicans. 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 won a full term handily in 2010, and seems on track to win the general election this time as well, assuming he survives a possible primary by former state Senator and conservative favorite